myCommunity Update
  2nd Quarter, 2012
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 In This Issue 

  Cancer Center Member Spotlight
  Challenge Gift
  Clinical Trial Spotlight
  Contact Us
  Countdown to CCSG Progress   Report
  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 CCSG Progress Report 


136 days until our CCSG Progress Report (Non-competing) is due on December 1, 2012.
Challenge Gift

The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in conjunction with the Hudson-Davidson Foundation has established a challenge gift to allow all employees the opportunity to help support the needs of our patients and families in a unique way.


 Did You Know?  


More than 360 patents from inventions (U.S. and foreign filings) have been filed by Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators (Patents FY 2006 – current:  152 still pending, 6 U.S. patents issued, 1 foreign patent issued).

 You are Invited...  


Women’s DOT Meeting
July 13, 11 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 56, Room 113

Colon DOT Meeting
July 24, 5:00 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 56, Room 113

Women’s DOT Meeting
August 10, 11 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 56, Room 113

Skin DOT Meeting

August 27, 6:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Colon DOT Meeting
August 28, 5:00 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 3, Room 101

Women’s DOT Meeting
September 14, 11 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 23, 4th Floor Conference Room

Skin DOT Meeting
September 24, 6:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Colon DOT Meeting
September 25, 5:00 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 22A, Room 2103

 Funding Opportunities  


National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Department of Defense (DOD)
CFCCC Funding Opportunities

 Latest Grant Awards  


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

Suzanne Sandmeyer (SPT)
“PacBio RS Single Molecule, Real Time (SMRT) DNA Sequencer”
Total Award: $600,000

Bruce Blumberg (SPT)
“Retinoic Acid Signaling Induces Ets-repressor Proteins to Promote Primary Neurogenesis”
Total Award: $347,329

Daniela Bota (CPP)
“UCI 11-46: International Randomized Double-blind Controlled Study of Rindopeplmut/GM-CSF with Adjuvant Temozolomide in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Surgically Resected EGFRvlll-positive Giloblastoma”
Total Award: $315,902

Oliver Cinquin (AS)
“Direct Tests of the Role of Stem Cells in Minimizing Mutation Accumulation”
Total Award: $300,000

Thomas Ahlering (AS)
“A Randomized, Double-Blind, Parallel, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 4, Multi-Center Study to Assess Efficacy and Safety of Vesicare (Solifenacin Succinate) to Improve Urinary Continence of Subjects After Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy”
Total Award: $188,775

Daniela Bota (CPP)
“UCI 08-16: A Phase II Clinical Trial Evaluating DCVax?-BRAIN, Autologous Dendritic Cells Pulsed With Tumor Lysate Antigen for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), protocol number 020221”
Total Award: $164,463

David Fruman (SPT)
“Defining resistance mechanisms to TOR kinase inhibitors in Leukemia & Lymph”
Total Award: $150,000

Pierre Baldi (SPT)
“UCI-CHOC Pediatric Cancer Genomic Project”
Total Award: $100,377
Hyndai Business Group

Ryan Dellinger (AS)
“Role of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases in UV-mediated Melanomagenesis”
Total Award: $100,000

Daniel Gillen (CPP)
“Censoring Robust Estimation of Covariate Effects on Discrete Survival Endpoints”
Total Award: $100,000

 Recent Publications  


Kuzucan A, Chen JH, Bahri S, Carpenter PM (SPT), Yu HJ, Hsiang DJ (OIB), Lane KT, Butler JA (OIB), Feig
“Diagnostic Performance of MRI for Assessing Tumor Response in HER2 Negative Breast Cancer Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Is Associated with Molecular Biomarker Profile.”
Clinical Breast Cancer.  2012 Apr;12(2):110-8.

Chung SH, Yu HJ, Su MY (OIB), Cerussi AE (OIB), Tromberg BJ (OIB)
“Molecular imaging of water binding state and diffusion in breast cancer using Diffuse Optical Spectroscopy and Diffusion Weighted MRI.”
J. Biomed. Opt. 17, 071304 (Jun 01, 2012)

Fong H, Wong RC, Donovan PJ (SPT).
“Transcriptional regulation of TRKC by SOX2 in human embryonic stem cells.”
Stem Cell Res. 2012 Mar;8(2):206-14. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Chen JT, Narayan SB, Edinger AL (SPT), Bennett MJ.
“Flow injection tandem mass spectrometric measurement of ceramides of multiple chain lengths in biological samples.”
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2012 Feb 1;883-884:136-40. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Hofacre A, Wodarz DF (SPT), Komarova NL (SPT), Fan HY (SPT). 
“Early infection and spread of a conditionally replicating adenovirus under conditions of plaque formation.”
Virology. 2012 Feb 5;423(1):89-96. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Randall LM (SPT), Sill MW, Burger RA, Monk BJ, Buening B, Sorosky JI.
“Predictive value of serum CA-125 levels in patients with persistent or recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer or peritoneal cancer treated with bevacizumab on a Gynecologic Oncology Group phase II trial.”
Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Mar;124(3):563-8. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Carter JE, Penson RT, Barakat RR, Wenzel LB (CPP).
“Contemporary quality of life issues affecting gynecologic cancer survivors.”
Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2012 Feb;26(1):169-94. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Von Gruenigen VE, Huang HQ, Gil KM, Frasure HE, Armstrong DK, Wenzel LB (CPP).
“The association between quality of life domains and overall survival in ovarian cancer patients during adjuvant chemotherapy: A Gynecologic Oncology Group Study.”
Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Mar;124(3):379-82. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

 Social Networking Tools  

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 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:

 Contact Us  

Jennifer Ivask
Community Outreach Specialist

Alisz Demecs
Extramural Awards Analyst

Jacqueline Tidball
Associate Director, CCSG Administration

 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

Frank L. Meyskens Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P.
Director, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Meyskens The 2012 External Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) Review of the CFCCC was held on May 28-29, 2012 at the Podlich Family Conference Center. The two day event presented opportunities and challenges to the Cancer Center. The ESAB were very impressed with our four CCSG Programs and the creation of the Disease Oriented Teams, or DOTs. They further commented that the essential characteristics have all continued to improve in addition to a very strong institutional commitment. In all, our efforts have been well received.

The proposal to renew the Southern California Chemoprevention Consortium (SCCC) was submitted in July, 2011. Contract negotiations with the NCI have been completed and we anticipate receiving notice of our renewal status later this summer. As you know, the SCCC is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Consortia for early phase cancer prevention trials. The objective is to conduct early phase (Phase I and Phase II) clinical trials of cancer prevention agents using the robust and well utilized infrastructure that has been successfully developed over the past decade at the CFCCC. The SCCC now includes over 16 collaborative sites working together with the CFCCC to reach the needed populations. The SCCC coordinates Phase I and Phase II clinical trials designed to prevent cancers of the skin, colon, liver, and pancreas. The goal of the SCCC is to conduct clinical trials and to find ways to prevent cancer from developing in people who are at a higher risk of developing cancer.

The collaborative Skin Cancer SPORE proposal will be submitted to the NIH on or before September 20. We are very excited about the four innovative Projects that will be supported by five Shared Resources Cores to win the battle against skin cancer; with additional Developmental and Career Research Programs. We are collaborating with the University of Arizona and the University of Minnesota.

A Program Project Grant will also be submitted in September 2012, titled, “Cellular Cross-Talk in the Human Colon Cancer Microenvironment.” This grant is an interprogrammatic effort on cellular cross-talk in the human colon cancer microenvironment, which involves faculty members in Onco-Imaging & Biotechnology (George, Hughes, Hui) and Systems, Pathways and Targets (Edwards, Lowengrub, Waterman).

Dr. Chris Hughes (OIB) is the lead PI for the planned P01 submission on Signaling in the Tumor Microenvironment. This effort is interprogrammatic as it represents a collaborative effort between Hughes (OIB), George (OIB), Waterman (SPT), Edwards (SPT), Lowengrub (SPT) and Hui (AS). The focus is on colon cancer and the program represents a unique blend of bioengineering using 3D tissue devices to develop transformed colonospheres within a vascular and stromal fibroblast network and extracellular matrix, together with mathematical and computational modeling. Activated macrophages will infiltrate through the 3D device and perfuse the tumor microenvironment. Various signaling networks including inflammatory signals, Wnt and hypoxia will be examined for their influence on growth and crosstalk of each tumor component. Results will be validated in mouse models and human tumor samples and simulated numerically.

And finally, our relationship with the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s Hospital is strengthening as Dr. Leonard Sender continues to direct and oversee the clinical operations of the Cancer Center across all departments, fostering a climate of multidisciplinary cancer care. We will continue to develop a strong relationship with the CHOC Cancer Institute and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center to fully leverage the affiliation between the two institutions.


 Feature Story  

Aimee Edinger: Starving Cancer Cells to Death

Ulrike A resurgence of interest in cancer cell metabolism has led to the discovery that many oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes transform cells by altering cellular bioenergetics. While essential for oncogenesis, this metabolic reprogramming makes cancer cells exquisitely dependent upon a high rate of nutrient flux. This is a potential Achilles’ heel—constitutively-active oncogenes and the deletion of tumor suppressor genes prevent tumor cells from reducing biosynthesis and increasing catabolic reactions. Thus, cancer cells die when deprived of nutrients while normal cells become quiescent. Dr. Edinger’s laboratory is taking a unique approach to fighting cancer by trying to exploit this difference by developing therapies that selectively starve cancer cells to death by down-regulating nutrient transporter proteins. Their immediate goals are to: 1) develop drugs that target transporters for down-regulation, and 2) uncover the pathways that coordinately regulate mammalian nutrient transporter internalization and trafficking.

Dr. Edinger began her own laboratory at the University of California, Irvine in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor in the department of Developmental and Cell Biology.

 In the News  

Optical Tweezers to Uncover Cellular Communication

UC Irvine and UCLA researchers have uncovered fundamental properties of a key molecular signaling system involved with cancer and cardiovascular disease. Elliot Botvinick, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, worked in collaboration with UCLA’s Gerry Weinmaster. They utilized optical tweezers, a laser microbeam technology, to detect and measure the mechanical force produced by cells when bound to Notch—a cellular pathway that ensures the correct cell types form at a precise time and location in the body. The research sheds new light on the role of cells’ neighbors in the development and regulation of tissue, and it advances efforts to create new therapeutics.

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Healthcare Leadership Update:
Director Recruitment, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Renowned cancer researcher to speak at annual lectureshipAfter more than two decades of service as the founding director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine, Dr. Frank Meyskens has asked that we initiate the process of identifying the next director for the cancer center. As such, we are conducting a national search to recruit an extraordinary individual to continue the superb program that Dr. Meyskens created and sustained.

Dean Ralph Clayman has asked Dr. Ranjan Gupta, chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, to lead this crucial search for UC Irvine Health. He has accepted this task with exceptional energy and dedication, and has already assembled a truly first-rate search committee.

This outstanding committee will be working diligently during the coming months, as we look forward to the successful recruitment of the next cancer center director. To nominate individuals who you believe might be qualified for this opportunity, please contact members of the search committee or email Dr. Gupta, chair of the search committee, directly.

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Executive Vice Dean and Cancer Center Member, Dr. F. Allan Hubbell to Retire

HubbellAfter 33 years of dedicated service to UC Irvine, F. Allan Hubbell, MD, MSPH, executive vice dean of the School of Medicine and senior associate dean for academic affairs, will retire on June 30, 2012 and will become professor emeritus of medicine, public health and nursing science. Dr. Hubbell’s research has focused on cancer prevention and the health needs of medically underserved populations as well as on the health policy options necessary to address those issues. Through his research, which includes National Cancer Institute-funded studies, he has contributed to the national goal of eliminating cancer-related health disparities among different ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Specifically, Dr. Hubbell has helped develop culturally sensitive cancer prevention programs to improve cancer knowledge and screening among Latinos and Pacific Islanders. Dr. Hubbell has also been UC Irvine's Principal Investigator for the national Women's Health Initiative, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The initiative is a large multi-center clinical trial evaluating the impact of hormone therapy, calcium/vitamin D and diet, on a variety of cardiovascular, cancer and musculoskeletal outcomes. Many thanks to Dr. Hubbell for his dedication to cancer research, and we wish you a well deserved and enjoyable retirement.

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Steward Named Senior Associate Dean of Research

OswaldOswald Steward, Ph.D., director of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, has been appointed Senior Associate Dean of Research for UC Irvine School of Medicine. The appointment took effect June 1.

In making the announcement, Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, Dean of the School of Medicine, said Steward's "leadership will be tremendously beneficial....I truly look forward to working with him on many upcoming scientific issues and research endeavors."

Learn More

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Genomics High-Throughput Facility News


Suzanne Sandmeyer, Ph.D. and Melanie Oakes, Ph.D.

The Genomics High-Throughput Facility (GHTF) is excited to present some new technologies on campus and give a brief update on new applications for the current platforms at GHTF.

Learn More

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UC Irvine Urologists Disagree with New Prostate Screening Guidelines


Atreya Dash, M.D. and Thomas Ahlering, M.D.

Doctors from UC Irvine’s Department of Urology are taking issue with the revised prostate cancer screening guidelines issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which calls for eliminating the PSA blood test as a screening tool for most men.

Learn More

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As Summer Nears, UC Irvine’s Dr. Janellen Smith Offers Skin-Saving Advice

SmithAs a specialist in skin disorders and cancers, Dr. Janellen Smith sees firsthand the effects of too much sun exposure. Sunburns and accelerated skin aging are common results, but excessive sun exposure also can be deadly.

Each year, more than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer, the most common of all cancers. About 50,000 of these cases involve melanoma, one of the most serious forms of skin cancer. If not treated promptly, it can spread to other parts of the body and prove fatal. Smith, a UC Irvine dermatology professor affiliated with the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, stresses that people – especially those in sun-worshipping Southern California – should be aware of the health risks associated with prolonged sun exposure and take proper precautions.

Learn More

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UC Irvine Study Finds Some Women Missing Out On Top Ovarian Cancer Care

BristowPoor women and African Americans with ovarian cancer are less likely to receive the highest standards of care, leading to worse outcomes than among white and affluent patients, according to a study of 50,000 women presented by UC Irvine’s Dr. Robert Bristow at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s recent annual meeting.

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Cancer Center Launches Three Disease Oriented Teams (DOTs)

The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce the activation of three Disease Oriented Teams: Colon, Women’s Cancer Cure ConneXion and Skin DOTs. Dots set out to bring together the collective expertise of basic, translational and clinical researchers for the prevention and treatment of cancer. They are multidisciplinary teams that focus on addressing the wide spectrum of activities that involve patients with a particular type of cancer. Their work extends from fundamental research to risk identification, clinical research and clinical trials available to the community. DOTs also focus on outreach programs that promote cancer prevention and early detection interventions. interventions.

Learn More

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 Clinical Trial Spotlight  

UCI 07-47: “Phase IIa Clinical Biomarker Trial of Aspirin and Arginine Restriction in Colorectal Cancer Patients"

Principal Investigator: Jason Zell, D.O., M.P.H.
Sub-Investigator: Gregory Albers, M.D.

Zell Patients with colorectal cancer are at risk for recurrence and development of secondary colorectal cancers. Specific chemicals in the body referred to as biomarkers can be measured to help understand colorectal cancer risk. Biomarkers related to Arginine intake (polyamines) and aspirin use (prostanglandins) have been identified in prior laboratory studies. This study involves a 12-week intervention of daily aspirin use and dietary Arginine restriction (Arginine is found in meat, nuts, certain cheeses, and other foods). By measuring relevant biomarkers before and after the study intervention, we assess how they are affected by the intervention, and gain knowledge about their usefulness in colorectal cancer patients on clinical trial. This study is looking for participants with a history of surgically removed colon or rectal cancer, stage I, II, or III.

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UCI 10-31: "A Phase IIa Trial of Metformin for Colorectal Cancer Risk Reduction among Patients with a History of Colorectal Adenomas and Elevated Body Mass Index"

Principal Investigator: Jason Zell, D.O., M.P.H.
Sub-Investigator: Gregory Albers, M.D.

The study’s overall goal is to see if Metformin, taken for 12 weeks among patients with a BMI of 30 or above with a history of colorectal adenomas, will result in decreased protein markers in colorectal tissue. If successful, this project’s findings may help development of new strategies to prevent colon cancer. This trial is a Southern California Chemoprevention Consortium (SCCC) clinical trial. The SCCC is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Consortia for early phase cancer prevention trials. The overall objective of the SCCC is to conduct early phase (Phase I and Phase II) clinical trials of cancer prevention agents using the robust infrastructure that has been developed over the past decade at the CFCCC. The main focus of these trials is to assess the cancer preventive potential of various compounds by evaluating their effects on molecular, biological, or imaging endpoints.

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 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 are examples of the great work being done here, and the dedication and values we possess. To suggest someone to be profiled, please contact Jacqueline Tidball at

Anand Ganesan, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department of Dermatology

Anand GanesanDr. Anand Ganesan’s laboratory focuses on understanding the central role of the melanocyte in protecting the skin from the harmful effects of UV irradiation.  When the skin gets a normal amount of UV irradiation, the melanocyte can produce more melanin and transfer this pigment to adjacent skin cells, preventing the formation of skin cancer.  When the melanocyte receives too much UV radiation, it can transform to melanoma, a cancer that is resistant to most treatments.   Dr. Ganesan’s laboratory utilizes systems level approaches to understand how UV irradiation controls melanogenesis and seeks to also understand why melanoma cells are so resistant to existing therapies.   In addition, Dr. Ganesan has an active clinical practice which focuses on patients with pigmentary disorders (clinical conditions characterized by too much or too little melanin), and skin cancer.

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 Program Highlight  

Onco-Imaging & Biotechnology (OIB)
Program Leaders:
Christopher C. Hughes, Ph.D.
Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D.
Working Group Leader:
Lydia Su, Ph.D.
marian watermanLowengrubLydia Su
The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has expanded our programmatic emphasis to include UC Irvine’s rapidly growing activities and expertise in the area of advanced Biotechnologies in cancer. We have undertaken this expansion to extend the highly successful Onco-Imaging and Spectroscopy (OIS) model to other emerging areas with the Cancer Center. These include cellular and material technologies used in engineered tissue platforms, and nano/micro technologies with fluidic and chip-based components. Onco-Imaging and Biotechnology (OIB) now combines all aspects of advanced cancer technology development at UC Irvine into a single program. These include cellular and material technologies used in engineered tissue platforms, and nano/micro technologies with fluidic and chip-based components.

An interprogrammatic effort on cellular cross-talk in the human colon cancer microenvironment involves faculty members in OIB (George, Hughes, Hui) and Systems, Pathways and Targets (Edwards, Lowengrub, Waterman). A Program Project Grant will be submitted in September 2012 (“Cellular Cross-Talk in the Human Colon Cancer Microenvironment”).

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 Shared Resource Highlight  

Experimental Tissue Resource (ETR)
Director: Robert Edwards, M.D., Ph.D.
Facility Manager: Kehui Wang

GillenThe primary objective of the Experimental Tissue Shared Resource (ETR) is to provide basic, translational and clinical cancer center researchers access to, and analysis of human and animal tissues. A key advantage is that this Core leverages the technical and professional expertise of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. The component services offered include:
  • tissue histology/immunohistochemistry (IHC)
  • tissue analysis, including laser capture microscopy (LCM)
  • image analysis
  • genotyping services
There has been growth in use, especially in the histology/immuno-histochemistry component, which accounts for the majority of usage within the ETR. The histology component has provided high-quality service at below-market recharge rates, with short turn-around times to cancer center members who are mainly pursuing translational research on human cancer specimens or studying rodent models of human cancer. Whenever required, we customize services to meet the special needs of cancer center members. These features have made our histology services superior to those available from commercial vendors, contributing to usage growth. ETR services contributed to a total of 14 publications (of which 10 are cancer related) in the prior funding period. Analytical services, used by 15 investigators, have been particularly valuable to investigators pursuing translational and clinical research projects. The resource continues to evolve, integrating expertise in specialty analytical services, mouse pathology, histopathology consultation, and molecular pathology which will assist cancer center investigators using prognostic and diagnostic gene signatures.

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 Disease Oriented Team (DOT) Highlight  
Skin DOT (S-DOT)
Co-Leader: Kristen Kelly, M.D..
Co-Leader: Anthony Durkin., Ph.D..

Jason ZellAnthony Durkin
The Skin Disease Oriented Team (S-DOT) is a multidisciplinary group comprised of UC Irvine affiliated investigators from the disciplines of dermatology, pathology, oncology, surgery, engineering, optics, public health, epidemiology, and biostatistics. The S-DOT engages investigators who have an interest in translational science, comparative effectiveness research, optical imaging, and drug discovery for the detection and treatment of skin cancer. A multidisciplinary team will meet quarterly with the objective of identifying scientific collaborative and grant writing opportunities. Importantly, the S-DOT will encompass the Schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering. The S-DOT will carry out basic clinical and translational research co-coordinated by the CFCCC and under the auspices of the CFCCC, the Laser and Medical Microbeam Program (LAMMP) at the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (BLIMC) and the Department of Dermatology.

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Marian Waterman, Ph.D. (SPT)
Marian Waterman, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Associate Director of the Cancer Research Institute and Co-Leader of the Systems, Pathways & Targets (SPT) research program has been awarded the Athalie Clarke Achievement Award from Research Associates, a community-based support group for the School of Medicine. This award is designated for an outstanding senior faculty member whose UC Irvine research has made significant advances in medicine or the basic sciences. Dr. Waterman's research focuses on signal transduction in cancer and stem cells, specifically understanding how Wnt signals control normal patterns of cell growth and differentiation, and how distortion of this signal causes cancer.

LinskeyJason Zell, D.O., M.P.H. (CPP)

Jason Zell, D.O., M.P.H., Associate Program Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program, received the 2012 Research Associates Dean’s Junior Physician/Scientist Award. This award is designated for a junior faculty member whose research has been outstanding in clinical or basic science. Dr. Zell's research interests include discovering novel methods for colon cancer prevention and developing interventions to reduce colon cancer risk, particularly among those at high risk for the disease.

The awards were presented at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach on June 5, 2012.

 New Faces  

Please Join Us in Welcoming our New Cancer Center Members!

ChiouElliot Botvinick, Ph.D.,
is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering, School of Surgery and the Beckman Laser Institute at UC Irvine. Dr. Botvinick has been using laser tweezers to study the role of molecular and ECM stiffness in signal transduction in the fields of cancer, vascular morphogenesis and stem cell differentiation. Dr. Botvinick has been appointed as a Full Member in the Chemical and Structural Biology Research Program.

ChiouRoxane Cohen Silver, Ph.D.,
is a Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior, Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Cohen Silver is interested in how individuals cope with stressful life experiences, such as loss of a spouse or child, divorce, childhood sexual abuse, physical disability, war, natural disaster, and immigration to a new country. In her work, she seeks to examine cognitive, emotional, social, and physical responses to stressful life events, and to identify factors that facilitate successful adjustment to them. She also explores the long-term effects of traumatic life experiences, and considers how beliefs and expectations of the social network impact the coping process. Finally, her research examines predictors of individual and community resilience, as well as collective responses to disaster.

DrakeWilliam E. Karnes, M.D.,
is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology at UC Irvine. Dr. Karnes’ primary research interest is assessing and reducing risk of colorectal cancer. He is interested in models of risk assessment, novel screening tests, and novel interventions, including chemoprevention. Dr. Karnes’ prior research was primarily lab-based, focusing on signal transduction pathways. He is currently working with the new Atlas Program and Quality indicators for colonoscopy. He plans to help build a multi-disciplinary colorectal neoplasia clinic focused on high-risk groups. Dr. Karnes has been appointed as an Associate Member.

ChiouChaitali S. Nangia, M.D., is a HS Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine.  Dr. Nangia is a hematology-oncology specialist, and focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of colon, rectal, breast and head and neck cancers. She leads a multidisciplinary team that aims to expand clinical trials and strengthen options for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of colon and rectal cancers.

ChiouVeronica M. Vieira, D.Sc., is an Assistant Professor in Health Sciences/Public Health and is an environmental epidemiologist interested in spatial analysis methods and exposure modeling. Dr. Vieira is currently in the second year of an NIH R01 that examines the relationship between environmental risk factors and infant health, including cancers. As the Principal Investigator of one of the five center projects of the Superfund Research Program at Boston University, she is responsible for evaluating and applying spatial and temporal methods for cancer surveillance using breast cancer data from the Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard University.