Teaching before AACR meeting

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The American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009 officially started this morning. Even so, senior M. D. Anderson researchers were heavily involved Saturday in the customary meeting eve educational sessions.

Saturday's sessions were divided into four general areas - educational programs, methods workshops, basic science-clinical interface sessions and professional advancement.

Methods Workshops

Xifeng Wu of Epidemiology presented "Use of biomarkers in case-control studies of etiology and prognosis: Functional Assays" in a workshop on development of biomarkers for epidemiological studies.

Chun Li of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging discussed "Multifunctional, multimodality cancer imaging based on biodegradable water-soluble synthetic polymers" at a session on nanotechnology platforms for cancer imaging.

J. Jack Lee of Biostatistics co-chaired two sessions on clinical trials design, one on early phase I trials and discovery and one on late phase trials and validation. In the first session, he presented "Adaptive designs for speeding up drug discovery."

Chris Amos of Epidemiology discussed "Copy number variation and cancer risk" at a workshop on new tools for molecular epidemiology.

Professional Advancement Sessions

Elizabeth Travis, associate vice president of women faculty programs, participated on a panel titled "Principles of negotiations: Building dynamic and reciprocal partnerships in your world," the Fourth Women in Cancer Research Leadership Development Workshop.

James Abbruzzese, chair of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, and Mien-Chie Hung, chair of Molecular and Cellular Oncology served as mentors in the 12th Annual Grant Writing Workshop.

Basic Science-Clinical Interface Sessions

Gordon Mills, chair of Systems Biology presented "mTOR pathway components as therapeutic targets: Preclinical and recent clinical experience," in a session on targeting mTOR to inhibit cancer cell growth and cell cycle.

Dihua Yu of Breast Medical Oncology chaired a session on HER-2 targeting therapies, resistance and counteracting strategies.

Educational Sessions

George Calin of Experimental Therapeutics co-chaired a session on cross-talk between epigenetic modifications and non-coding RNAs in cancer. He also discussed "Non-coding RNA paradigms in medical practice."

Jean-Pierre Issa of Leukemia discussed "In vivo epigenetic modulation after DNA hypomethylation therapy" during a session on epigenetic therapies to overcome resistance.

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