myCommunity Update
CARe
  4th Quarter, 2012
 In This Issue 

  Cancer Center Member Spotlight
  Clinical Trial Spotlight
  Congratulations!
  Contact Us
  Countdown to State of the Dept.
  Did You Know?
  Director's Corner
  DOT Highlight
  Feature Story
  Funding Opportunities
  Help Us Help You
  In the News
  Latest Grant Awards
  New Faces
  Program Highlight
  Recent Publications
  Shared Resource Highlight
  Social Networking Tools
  You are Invited...

 Countdown to State of the Department

Calendar

29 days until the State of the Cancer Center address to the School of Medicine, on Feb. 21, 2013.
 Did You Know?  


?

There are 185.18 staff FTEs dedicated to supporting the cancer program at UC Irvine.

 You are Invited...  

Invited

Skin DOT Meeting
Jan. 28, 1 p.m.
UC Irvine Campus
Sprague Hall 207

Colon DOT Meeting
Jan. 22, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center

Building 22A, Room 2103/2104


Women’s DOT Meeting
Feb. 8, 11:30 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 56, Room 113

State of the Cancer Center address to the School of Medicine
Feb. 21, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Campus
Telemedicine Theatre B001 - Medical Education

Skin DOT Meeting

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 22A, Room 2103/2104

Colon DOT Meeting
Feb. 26, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center

Building 3, Room 101

Women’s DOT Meeting
Mar. 8, 11:30 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 3, Room 101

Skin DOT Meeting
Mar. 25, 1 p.m.
UC Irvine Campus
BLI Library

Colon DOT Meeting
Mar. 26, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center

Building 22A, Room 2103/2104


 Funding Opportunities  


$

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Department of Defense (DOD)
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Funding Opportunities



 Latest Grant Awards  


Awards

Awards listed are cancer related and more than $100,000 (direct).

Laura Findeiss (AS)
“UCI 11-42: Ph 2b randomized open-label trial of JX-594 + Best Supportive Care vs Best Supportive Care in Pts with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma wh”
Total Award: $2,121,165
Jennerex

Qing Nie (SPT)
“Differentiation and Stratification During Development: A Joint Computational and Experimental Investigation”
Total Award: $1,361,300
NSF

Elliot Botvinick (CSB)
“Regulation of Mammary epithelial signaling by local matrix stiffness”
Total Award: $421,137
NSF

F. Allan Hubbell (CPP)
“CSUF and UCI-CFCCC Partnership for Cancer Health Disparities Research”
Total Award: $392,220
NIH-NCI

Sai-hong Ignatius Ou (SPT)
“UCI 12-20: Phase 1 Multicenter Open-Label Dose Escalation Study of ASP3026 in Subjects with Advanced Malignancies”
Total Award: $354,381
Fujisawa Healthcare

Jose Carrillo (AS)
“UCI 12-02: An lntematlonal Multi-center, Randomized Double Blind Placebo Controlled Phase II Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Lucanthone Administered as an Adjunct to Radiation and Temozolomide for Primary Therapy of Glioblastoma Multiforme”
Total Award: $201,875
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

Eva Lee (SPT)
“Hormonal Modulation and Genetic Alterations in Breast Carcinogenesis”
Total Award: $200,000
BCRF

David Timberlake (CPP)
“Should Smokeless Tobacco Be Promoted As an Alternative for Smokers”
Total Award: $100,000
NIH-NIDA

 Recent Publications  

Publications

Novara G, Ficarra V, Mocellin S, Ahlering TE (CPP), Carroll PR, Graefen M, Guazzoni G, Menon M, Patel VR, Shariat SF, Tewari AK, Van Poppel H, Zattoni F, Montorsi F, Mottrie A, Rosen RC, Wilson TG. “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Studies Reporting Oncologic Outcome After Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy.” Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):382-404. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2012.05.047. Epub 2012 Jun 2. PMID: 22749851


Verma S, Salmans ML, Geyfman M, Wang H, Yu Z, Lu Z, Zhao F, Lipkin SM, Andersen B (SPT). “The estrogen-responsive Agr2 gene regulates mammary epithelial proliferation and facilitates lobuloalveolar development.” Dev Biol. 2012 Sep 15;369(2):249-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.06.030. Epub 2012 Jul 20. PMID: 22819674

Hoverter NP, Ting JH, Sundaresh S, Baldi P (SPT), Waterman ML (SPT). “A WNT/p21 Circuit Directed by the C-Clamp, a Sequence-Specific DNA Binding Domain in TCFs.” Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;32(18):3648-62. doi: 10.1128/MCB.06769-11. Epub 2012 Jul 9. PMID: 22778133

Nguyen VQ, Gillen DL (CPP). “Robust inference in discrete hazard models for randomized clinical trials.” Lifetime Data Analysis. 2012 Oct;18(4):446-69. doi: 10.1007/s10985-012-9224-6. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Simpkins F, Hevia-Paez P, Sun J, Ullmer W, Gilbert CA, da Silva T, Pedram A, Levin ER (SPT), Reis IM, Rabinovich B, Azzam D, Xu XX, Ince TA, Yang JY, Verhaak RG, Lu Y, Mills GB, Slingerland JM. “Src inhibition with saracatinib reverses fulvestrant resistance in ER-positive ovarian cancer models in vitro and in vivo.” Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Nov 1;18(21):5911-5923. Epub 2012 Aug 15. PMID: 22896656

Najdi RS, Proffitt K, Sprowl S, Kaur S, Yu J, Covey TM, Virshup DM, Waterman ML (SPT). “A uniform human Wnt expression library reveals a shared secretory pathway and unique signaling activities.” Differentiation 2012 Sep;84(2):203-13. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 9. PMID: 22784633

Zell JA (CPP), Lin BS, Madson N, McLaren CE (CPP), Gerner EW, Meyskens FL (CPP). “Role of obesity in a randomized placebo-controlled trial of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) + sulindac for the prevention of sporadic colorectal adenomas.” 2012 Oct;23(10):1739-44. doi: 10.1007/s10552-012-0051-6. Epub 2012 Aug 21. PMID: 22907422 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC3443348

Ge L, Cornforth AN, Hoa NT, Delgado C, Chiou SK, Zhou YH (SPT), Jadus MR (SPT). “Differential Glioma-Associated Tumor Antigen Expression Profiles of Human Glioma Cells Grown in Hypoxia.” PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e42661. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042661. Epub 2012 Sep 5. PMID: 22957023

 Social Networking Tools  

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Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

 Help Us Help You


Employee Bulletin
If you have a new grant, were recently published, won an award, or have other newsworthy items, please let us know so we can publicize them in the newsletter and other media outlets. You deserve the accolades!

Send items to: tidball@uci.edu

 Contact Us  

Jennifer Ivask
Community Outreach Specialist
jivask@uci.edu


Jacqueline Tidball
Associate Director, CCSG Administration
tidball@uci.edu

 Useful Websites 

UC Irvine Links:
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
   Research Programs
   Shared Resources
   Disease Oriented Teams
Cancer Research Institute
Center for Functional Onco-Imaging (CFOI)
Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS)
Beckman Laser Institute
Network for Translational Research Optical Imaging (NTROI)
Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute (GERI)
Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
UC Irvine Healthcare
UC Irvine Health Affairs
UC Irvine School of Medicine
UC Irvine


Organizational Links:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Cooperative Links:
American College of Surgeons Oncology Group
Gynecologic Oncology Group
National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
Southwest Oncology Group




 Director's Corner

Sheldon Greenfield, MD
Interim Director, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Greenfield As the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center’s interim director, I am honored to be part of the exciting changes over the past year. Last September, I took the reins from a great leader in cancer medicine, Frank Meyskens, MD. It is an inspiring and intense responsibility. Frank Meyskens' contributions are highlighted by his work in cancer prevention and control; his involvement in the mentoring of undergraduate, graduate students, research and clinical post docs and young investigators for 35 years, including many budding repurposed physician scientists in the evolving field of cancer prevention and control; and his transformation of UC Irvine into one of the nation’s premier institutions for cancer.

The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has experienced another exciting year of excellence in cancer research, education, and patient care, and we are eager to share with you some of our accomplishments:

  • Dr. Allan Hubbell of UC Irvine and Dr. Sora Park Tanjasiri of California State University, Fullerton were awarded $1.3 million in funding from the National Cancer Institute to establish a collaborative partnership aimed toward development of pilot research projects between faculty members at CSUF and UC Irvine’s cancer center.
  • Discretionary funding from the cancer center enabled Dr. Ulrike Luderer to maintain her mouse colony, which was necessary for additional preliminary data to be captured that led to a new funded R01. Dr. Luderer revealed her preliminary research findings, which focus on toxic environmental exposures, ovarian failure and ovarian cancer, at an annual cancer center Scientific Retreat.
  • Postmenopausal women with the most common type of metastatic breast cancer now have a new treatment option that lengthens their lives, according a study led by UC Irvine oncologist Dr. Rita Mehta and conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group. The findings appeared in the Aug. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • External Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) Review, May 2012: The ESAB was very impressed with the refinement and creation of the four new Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) programs as recommended by the ESAB in 2011. The programs are innovative, invigorated, well-funded and under excellent leadership, and the science continues to be outstanding.
  • The collaborative Skin Cancer SPORE proposal with University of Arizona was submitted to the NIH on September 20, 2012.
  • A Program Project Grant (PPG) was also submitted in September 2012, titled “Cellular Cross-Talk in the Human Colon Cancer Microenvironment.”
  • Our relationship with the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s is strengthening as Dr. Leonard Sender continues to direct and oversee the overall clinical operations of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center across all departments, fostering a climate of multidisciplinary cancer care for all age groups.
  • Dr. Frank Meyskens was appointed to vice dean for the School of Medicine. This will allow Dr. Meyskens to take maximum advantage of UC Irvine’s strengths and capabilities in promoting new cancer research-oriented activities.
  • Funding for the fourth and fifth year of CCSG was reinstated, and a sixth year funding extension was awarded.
  • Dr. Lari Wenzel was named deputy director for Mentoring, Education and Training.
  • We have expanded our world-class services to coastal Orange County with the affiliation with Pacific Breast Care.
  • UC Irvine has invested in several new and ongoing recruitments to fully utilize the cancer center’s strengths to promote the overall cancer program.
  • Our transdisciplinary collaboration and coordination has been enhanced greatly by the formation and implementation of our disease oriented teams (DOTs). We have four active DOTS: Women’s DOT, Colon DOT, Skin DOT and Prostate DOT.
  • We look forward to continued success of the Cancer Philanthropic Campaign.
  • The ongoing renovation of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center building and expansion of the Infusion Center that will be completed in spring 2013.
  • We are conducting a national search to recruit an extraordinary individual to continue the superb program that Dr. Meyskens created and sustained. Our outstanding search committee will be working diligently during the coming months, as we look forward to the successful recruitment of the next cancer center director.
We will continue to build on all of these efforts, and I look forward to sharing new research advances and outcomes from our laboratories and clinics in 2013.

Greenfield Signature
Sheldon Greenfield, MD
Interim Director
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

 Feature Story  

UC Irvine opens clinical trial of novel treatment for brain cancer

Bota1 UC Irvine doctors are enrolling patients with the deadly brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme in a clinical trial of a vaccine that may prevent the cancer’s return or spread after surgery.

“Our goal is to train the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer,” said Dr. Daniela Bota, neuro-oncologist and co-director of UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program. She will lead the Phase 2 trial at UC Irvine of DCVax, which was associated with increased survival in a previous study.

The vaccine is prepared in a lab and combines protein antigens extracted from the patient’s tumor with some of his or her white blood cells. These grow into dendritic cells that, when injected back into the patient, target the protein antigens and prompt the immune system’s T cells to identify and attack remaining cancer cells.



 In the News  

UC Irvine garners $11.5 million in continued support of systems biology center

LanderDr. Arthur Lander and members of the UC Irvine Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS) have successfully renewed National Institute of General Medicial Sciences (NIGMS) P50 support for center activities and research. This center is one of only 15 NIGMS-supported centers.

CCBS promotes research and education in the area of systems biology broadly defined, which includes aspects of synthetic biology, genomics and functional genomics, computational and mathematical biology, biophysics, bioengineering and molecular biology. A major focus of research in CCBS is on the mechanisms used by cells and tissues to control development. This has been applied to both normal tissues and cancer, where control systems are disregulated or aberrant
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Too young for cancer: forgotten generation

Sender Self magazine recently examined the unique challenges that face young women when diagnosed with cancer. The magazine reported that even if it is caught in time, cancer when you are 25 years old might be harder to cure than it would be in your mom. Some types, including breast cancer, colon cancer and sarcomas, may grow more aggressively when you are young.

“We call them the forgotten generation,” says Leonard Sender, MD, head of adolescent and young adult oncology program at the UC Irvine. “The medical profession needs to stop writing off young people.”

Individuals under 40 often have tumors with a unique biology, yet there are few specialists, wards or trials geared to help them. Female patients may not even get a chance to freeze eggs before urgent fertility-threatening chemo and surgeries.

Learn More

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Leukemia patients feel her caring touch

SommersKaren Sommers, NP, has devoted her nearly 30-year career in nursing to caring for patients with leukemia, offering constant comfort and understanding through what can be months and even years of treatment.

Learn More

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Conflicting Clinical Guidelines

SommersThe Journal of the National Cancer Institute interviewed Dr. Sheldon Greenfield about conflicting clinical guidelines and the pressures for more consistency or "harmonization" of clinical guidelines.

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UC Irvine brain tumor program fights cancer with cancer

Bota2The Orange County Register interviewed UC Irvine neuro-oncologist Dr. Daniela Bota about brain vaccines as a way to complement traditional brain cancer treatments.


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 Clinical Trial Spotlight  
UCI-11-55: “A Prospective Non-Randomized Comparison of Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Radical Hysterectomy (RALRH) and Abdominal Radical Hysterectomy (ARH)"

Principal Investigator: Krishnansu Tewari, MD

Tewari1The introduction of minimally invasive surgery within the specialty of gynecologic oncology has resulted in a transformation in the patterns of operative cancer care that female patients are offered. The total laparoscopic radical hysterectomy was initially introduced in the early 1990s. Since that time, there have been numerous publications illustrating the feasibility of the laparoscopic radical hysterectomy in the treatment of early stage cervical cancers. Despite these advances, surveys conducted in 2008 indicated that only 38 percent of practicing gynecologic oncologists employed the laparoscopic approach in the treatment of cervical cancer. Long operative times and lack of experience were the two most commonly cited reasons.

More recently, however, the da Vinci Surgical System® (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, Calif.) received FDA approval for use in gynecologic procedures. This technology has drastically altered the landscape of minimally invasive surgery. The robotic platform allows for improved depth perception, increased range of motion with “7 degrees-of-freedom,” as well as camera stability. These adaptations and improvements over traditional laparoscopic surgery have resulted in an increased learning curve and rapid adoption of this technology within gynecologic oncology.

Furthermore, numerous single-institution retrospective case-control studies have been published over the 2 of 21 previous 3 years describing comparative outcomes between robotic, laparoscopic and abdominal approaches for radical hysterectomy. However, the retrospective nature of these studies, limited patient numbers, and use of historical controls represent significant limitations in the research design.

The purpose of the project (UCI-11-55) will be to prospectively compare quality of life (QoL), pathologic, intra- and postoperative complication rates, and recurrence/survival data between patients undergoing robot-assisted radical hysterectomy (RRH) and abdominal radical hysterectomy (ARH). This study will be the first prospective trial evaluating the above parameters. Patients scheduled to undergo RRH or ARH will be enrolled in the proposed trial. Subsequently, validated QoL measures will be evaluated, and information regarding pathology, complications and recurrence/survival will be abstracted from the medical records.


 Cancer Center Member Spotlight  

The Cancer Center Member Spotlight recognizes the diverse contributions made by the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center members in research, education and patient care. The members profiled reflect the great work being done here, and the dedication and values we possess. To suggest someone to be profiled, please contact Jacqueline Tidball at jtidball@uci.edu

Verónica M. Vieira, DSc (CPP)
Associate Professor, Public Health

Vieira The cancer center FTE vacancy in 2010 was filled last year with an environmental epidemiologist, Dr. Verónica Vieira, in the Program in Public Health. Vieira is interested in spatial analysis methods and exposure modeling. She earned a Master of Science in environmental engineering from Stanford University and a Doctor of Science in environmental health from Boston University School of Public Health. Vieira has extensive knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), groundwater modeling, cluster detection methods, and on persistent environmental contaminants including tetrachloroethylene (PCE, a dry-cleaning solvent), perfluorooctanoic acid [PFOA, a perfluorinated compound (PFC) involved in the manufacturing of Teflon], and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a common class of flame retardants).

As part of a multi-university community health project, Vieira collaborated on a large historical reconstruction of PFOA exposures among residents of the mid-Ohio valley to study potential health effects. These communities are located near a large chemical plant that emitted PFOA into the local air and water for several decades. Components of this work include improving methods for geocoding rural addresses using GIS and examining the relationship between cancer outcomes, PFOA serum levels and drinking water concentrations. Vieira's work also includes method development for spatial epidemiology such as disease mapping, cluster detection, and space-time interactions. She is a co-investigator with the Boston University Superfund Research Program and collaborates with researchers at BUSPH, Harvard University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and the Ecole des Hautes Études en Santé Publique of France, to apply disease mapping to various health outcomes including cancer, birth outcomes and rheumatoid arthritis.


 Program Highlight  

Chemical & Structural Biology (CSB)
Program Leaders:
Tom Poulos, PhD
Gregory Weiss, PhD

PoulosWeiss
The Program in Chemical and Structural Biology (CSB) essentially remained with little change from the restructuring of the research programs this past year. There have been many major scientific accomplishments in CSB, and below is a partial listing:
  • Targeting Cancer Cells with Sphingolipid-based Drugs: Edinger (SPP) Fruman (SPP) Hanessian (affiliated with CSB)
  • Development of Novel P450 Inhibitors: Poulos (CSB) and Chamberlin (CSB)
  • Breast Cancer: Lee (CSB)
  • Cancer Diagnosis: Weiss (CSB)
For 2013, the CSB program will organize and host a retreat, “Structural Biology: From Crystals to Clinic.” The program aims to bring together clinical researchers studying interesting possible target proteins with structural biologists who have compelling stories of their successes using structure-based design for the development of new therapeutics. The CSB program’s Collaboration Matchmaker service will continue during the year. This service aims to help initiate new collaborations through a periodic call for molecular targets to the biologists. Such targets are then pitched to potential synthetic chemists to encourage the development of a collaboration. This service has already demonstrated success at developing new collaborations. In 2013, a CSB predoctoral training grant proposal will be submitted to NIH. The impetus for developing this proposal is a direct outgrowth of the CSB Program in the cancer center. Many collaborations at the biology-chemistry interface that have been generated owing to our activities over the past few years, and these provide an excellent basis for a training grant. Other new grant proposals will emerge through the collaborations initiated during the last few years by the CSB program’s Collaboration Matchmaker service.

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 Shared Resource Highlight  
Genomics High-Throughput Facility (GHTF)
Director: Suzanne B. Sandmeyer, PhD
Facility Manager: Melanie Oakes, PhD

SandmeyerOakes The mission of the GHTF is to provide genome-wide analysis for clients interested in gene expression, regulation of gene expression, and genome sequence and variation. The primary forms of genome-wide analysis are the Affymetrix GeneChip and Illumina HiSeq 2000 next generation sequencing. The GHTF (previously UCI DNA & Protein MicroArray Facility) was established in 1999 as a shared resource, affiliated with the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, with the goal of assisting UC Irvine campus and medical center investigators. The shared resource has expanded and currently provides services to numerous outside academic, nonprofit institutions and commercial biotech entities. In addition to providing experimental expertise for performing microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing, the staff offers advice and consultation on experimental design, general analysis approaches and statistics for microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing-based research.

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 Disease Oriented Team (DOT) Highlight  

Women's DOT (W-DOT)
Co-leader: Krishnansu S. Tewari, MD
Co-leader: Lydia Su, PhD

Tewari2SuTwo Women’s DOT (W-DOT) meetings were held this past quarter. At the October meeting, Dr. Lari Wenzel presented on the newly formed NRG Oncology, which combines the synergistic expertise of three cooperative groups (NSABP, RTOG and GOG) and its transition to a single grant mechanism. Wenzel outlined NRG Oncology’s approach to parallel project planning for grant preparation/operational changes and corporate restructuring. In addition, she explained how this consolidated group will leverage complementary modalities from the three former cooperative groups and interact with industry collaborators through unique organizational structures.

The November W-DOT meeting included a presentation from Dr. David Fruman on “PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in cancer: mechanisms of response and resistance.” Fruman provided an overview of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling network and strategies to target elements of the pathway to treat cancer. He then described research questions and future directions in his lab, including:

- What is the mechanism of leukemia cell killing by TOR-KI?
- What are mechanisms of resistance to TOR-KI in leukemia and lymphoma and how to find effective combinations>
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How does TOR-KI affect differentiation of T cells and B cells?
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Why is rapamycin more immunosuppressive than TOR-KI?

Plans are underway to submit an application in response to an NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Lead Academic Participating Sites U10. The U10 application will be submitted in January 2013, with Dr. Tewari as Principal Investigator of this application.

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 Congratulations!  

BaldiJason Zell, DO, MPH (CPP)
UC Irvine’s Dr. Jason Zell is among 12 physicians from across the country to receive a Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute. The award recognizes exceptional cancer investigators for their contributions to the advancement of clinical research through collaborative team science.

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Six Cancer Center Members Elected as Fellows of AAAS
In October 2012, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Council elected 701 members as fellows of AAAS. These individuals will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum to be held on Feb. 16, 2013 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston. The new fellows will receive a certificate and a blue and gold rosette as a symbol of their distinguished accomplishments. Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center members include:

Section on Biological Sciences
Bruce Blumberg (SPT)
Ken Cho (SPT)
Wen-Hwa Lee (CSB)
Hartmut Luecke (CSB)
Thomas Schilling (SPT)

Section on Chemistry
Gregory Weiss (CSB)

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LudererPierre Baldi, PhD(SPT)
Pierre Baldi, chancellor’s professor in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences and director of the Institute for Genomics & Bioinformatics, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to machine learning and its applications in the life sciences. Current projects in his laboratory include mining high-throughput genomic data and developing expert systems for chemistry and systems biology to better understand the computations carried by metabolic, signaling and gene regulatory networks and to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity, publishing 30 percent of the literature in the fields of electrical and electronics engineering and computer science. It boasts 385,000 members in 160 countries and has named 312 fellows this year.

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LudererUlrike Luderer, PhD (CPP)
Dr. Ulrike Luderer, UC Irvine associate professor of medicine, has been named by Gov. Jerry Brown to the state Developmental & Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee. The independent panel, which operates within the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, was formed under Proposition 65, a 1986 law aimed at protecting the state’s drinking water sources from harmful chemicals. Under the legislation, the governor is required to publish annually a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The Developmental & Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, along with the Carcinogen Identification Committee, comprises scientists and health professionals who decide which chemicals are added to the list. Luderer is one of seven University of California faculty members appointed to the panel.

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GreenfieldSheldon Greenfield, MD (CPP)

Dr. Sheldon Greenfield, interim director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Donald Bren Professor of Medicine at UC Irvine, has been named to an advisory panel that will develop a quality improvement plan for the state's $46 billion Medi-Cal program. Greenfield is one of nine statewide healthcare leaders selected for the Medi-Cal Performance Advisory Committee, established this year by the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement. As part of their efforts, panel members will help direct how Medi-Cal funds are spent by setting performance standards against which healthcare providers and hospitals will be measured. "We want the 7.5 million people in California who rely on this funding to get the most from the state's investment in their health," said Greenfield, executive co-director of UC Irvine's Health Policy Research Institute and a nationally recognized leader in healthcare reform. He recently co-chaired an Institute of Medicine committee that established national priorities for a comparative effectiveness research effort funded by the 2009 federal stimulus plan.

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 New Faces  
Please Join Us in Welcoming our New Cancer Center Members!


GuanZhibin Guan, PhD,
is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Irvine.  He is also a member of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at UC Irvine. One major research thrust in his lab is the development of new biomaterials for biomedical applications including cancer treatment. One ongoing project is the design of new synthetic vectors for targeted delivery of gene and drugs to kill cancer cells. Recently Guan’s lab has developed new dendronized peptide-based polymers that afford efficient intracellular delivery of siRNA. His lab is currently pursuing the application of this technology for cancer treatment, and is also interested in designing new carriers for efficient delivery of imaging contrast agents to improve early diagnosis of tumors. Guan has been appointed as a full member in the Onco-Imaging and Biotechnology Research Program of the cancer center.

MechanicMindy Mechanic, PhD,
is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF).  Mechanic’s research has focused primarily on the psychosocial consequences of interpersonal violence, particularly intimate partner violence (IPV). Her work has expanded to focus more specifically on the unique ethnocultural issues facing Latinas exposed to IPV, within the context of a health disparities framework. Although Mechanic is new to the field of cancer research, she has been studying poor, ethnic minority women exposed to interpersonal violence for the past 20 years, and has studied factors such as social support, coping, social, isolation and quality of life, and completed the challenging tasks of recruitment and retention of victimized women. Thus, she is well qualified to be the CSUF co-leader for the pilot research project Disparities in Social Support, Isolation and Coping in Cervical Cancer Survivors. Mechanic has been appointed as an associate member of the cancer center.

PoliceAlice Police, MD,
is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at UC Irvine Health and medical director of Pacific Breast Care Center in Costa Mesa.  The UC Irvine affiliation with Pacific Breast Care Center has strengthened our women’s health services. Police is a dedicated breast surgeon and primarily a clinician.  She recently completed accrual for the Dune Medical Devices clinical trial as a principal investigator. Police is interested in modalities and technologies that improve the breast cancer experience for the patient and make the surgeon's job more connected to other specialties such as radiation oncology technology, Intrabeam and pathology device (Dune Marginprobe®). Combining the disciplines improves the patient experience and results in less mental anguish and more streamlined care. Intrabeam and the TARGIT Trial have interested Police for years, and she is now in a position to work with a significant number of cases on a research protocol.  Police has been appointed as an associate member of the cancer center.

RazorenovaOlga Razorenova, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at UC Irvine. Razorenova’s long-term goal is to identify and characterize the components of the tumor microenvironment that affect tumor gene expression and tumor progression, emphasizing how the microenvironment influences metastatic progression. In addition, she is interested in studying the dynamic process of metastatic niche formation. This knowledge will ultimately lead to identification of druggable targets to prevent tumor growth and metastatic spread. She plans to not only conduct in vitro analyses, but also use orthotopic mouse models of tumor growth and metastasis, as well as immunocompetent mouse models of cancer to explore those areas.  Razorenova has been appointed as a full member in the Systems, Pathways & Targets Research Program of the cancer center.

ShiYongsheng Shi, PhD,
is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics. Shi is interested in mRNA 3’ end processing and its regulation in stem cell differentiation and in cancer development. In his studies, he combines global analysis with in-depth biochemical and structural studies to gain important mechanistic insights. His lab is the first to purify the intact human mRNA 3’ processing complex and characterize its structure and function. His lab is also one of the first to apply high-throughput sequencing to global analyses of mRNA polyadenylation. Shi’s lab has a strong expertise in global mapping of protein-RNA interactions. Shi has been appointed as a full member in the Systems, Pathways & Targets Research Program of the cancer center.

Tanjasiri-ParkSora Tanjasiri-Park, DrPH, MPH,
is a professor in the Department of Health Science at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), and director of the Health Promotion Research Institute at CSUF. Tanjasiri-Park’s research focuses on community health promotion among diverse populations, particularly Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She applies community-based participatory research principles to understanding and addressing cancer health disparities, including tobacco prevention, early cancer detection and survivorship. She has served as PI or co-PI on more than two dozen extramurally funded cancer-related studies, including multiple principal investigator of the newly-funded P20 CSUF and UC Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership for Cancer Health Disparities Research, the NCI-funded U54 Community Network Program Center WINCART: Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training and the R01 Support Our Women study to promote Pap testing among Pacific Islander women. Her research has been published in such peer-reviewed journals as American Journal of Public Health, Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Education & Behavior, and Health Promotion Practice. Sora Tanjasiri-Park has been appointed as a full member in the Cancer Prevention & Prognosis Research Program of the cancer center.

WangSzu-Wen Wang, PhD,
is an associate professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, and Biomedical Engineering. The emphasis of Wang’s research is the development and self-assembly of novel biomaterials, primarily for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. The synthesis of these materials is primarily performed in recombinant systems via protein engineering. Currently, Wang’s research group is investigating nanomaterials for drug delivery and immunotherapeutic applications, and design and synthesis of specifically defined recombinant polymers for tissue engineering scaffolds. The biomaterials produced in her lab are currently being explored for applications in cancer therapy and tissue engineering.

She also has relevant experience in drug formulations and nanoparticulate delivery systems from her time in the pharmaceutical industry, with resulting patent applications and publications in the areas of cancer drug development and inhibition of P-glycoprotein (relevant to multidrug resistance in cancer). In the area of cancer, her research group is currently investigating multifunctional nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery (in collaboration with Dr. Felix Kratz, Tumor Biology Center inFreiburg, Germany) and cancer immunotherapy (in collaboration with UC Irvine's Dr. Edward Nelson). Her cancer-related work has been funded by the DoD Breast Cancer Program and by NIH (NIBIB). Her research group is also exploring the use of functionalized single nanopores for mimicking multidrug efflux transporters (in collaboration with Drs. Zuzanna Siwy and Kenneth Shea). Wang has been appointed as a full member in the Onco-Imaging and Biotechnology Research Program of the cancer center.