1st Quarter, 2013
 In This Issue 

  Cancer Center Member Spotlight
  Clinical Trial Spotlight
  Congratulations!
  Contact Us
  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 the Cancer Center Progress Report

Calendar

199 days until the cancer center's progress report is due, November 27, 2013.
 Did You Know?  


?

Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center members lead 13 prominent organized research units (ORUs)/institutes/centers at UC Irvine. They include:

1. UC Irvine Cancer Research Institute (CRI)
2. Center for Virus Research
3. Genetic Epidemiology Research Institute
4. Health Policy Research Institute (HPRI)
5. Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics
6. Institute for Immunology
7. Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic
8. Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
9. Center for Complex Biological Systems
10. Research Imaging Center
11. Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism
12. UC Irvine Developmental Biology Center
13. John Tu & Thomas Yuen Center for Functional Onco-Imaging

 You are Invited...  

Invited

Women’s DOT Meeting
May 17, 11:30 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 55, Room 212

California Breast Cancer Research Program Symposium
“From Research to Action: Two Decades of Change”
May 17-18
Costa Mesa

Colon DOT Meeting
May 28, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 22A, Room 2103/2104

Skin DOT Meeting
May 29, 1 p.m.
UC Irvine Campus
BLI Library

Clinical Translational Research Day
June 3, 9 a.m.
UC Irvine Campus
Student Center


Women’s DOT Meeting
June 21, 11:30 a.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Douglas Hospital, Room 4843

Skin DOT Meeting
June 24, 6 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 55, Room 212

Colon DOT Meeting
June 25, 5 p.m.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Building 3, Room 101

 Funding Opportunities  


$

Internal Funding Opportunities

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

External Funding Opportunities


The cancer center’s extramural awards analyst provides services that include researching federal and private funding opportunities and discovering project specific funding sources, in addition to timely editorial and proposal writing support.

Please contact:
Alisz Demecs
Extramural Awards Analyst
ademecs@uci.edu

 Latest Grant Awards  


Awards

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

Michelle Fortier (CPP)
“Mobile Technology to Improve Pain and Symptoms in Children with Cancer”
Total Award: $729,000
ACS

Yongsheng Shi (SPT)
“Regulation of global mRNA alternative polyadenylation by oncogenes.”
Total Award: $720,000
ACS

Charles Limoli (SPT)
“Acute radiation responses of mammalian stem cells”
Total Award: $314,977
DOD

Les Redpath (CPP)
ACS Institutional Grant
Total Award: $300,000
ACS

Sai-hong Ignatius Ou (SPT)
“UCI 11-61: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of afatinib (BIBW 2992) as adjuvant t”
Total Award: $203,961
Boehringer

Sergei Grando (CPP)
“Nicotinergic Control of Lung Cancer”
Total Award: $100,000
American Lung Association

 Recent Publications  

Publications

Calantog AJ, Hallajian L, Nabelsi T, Mansour SJ, Le AP, Epstein J, Wilder-Smith PE (OIB): A prospective study to assess in vivo optical coherence tomography imaging for early detection of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Lasers Surg Med 2013 45(1): 22-7

Lin Y, Ghijsen MT, Nalcioglu O, Gulsen G (OIB): In vivo validation of quantitative frequency domain fluorescence tomography. J Biomed Opt 2013 Jan 17(12): 126021 IF(N/A) PMC3525318, PM23323291.

Raj KP, Zell JA (CPP), Rock CL, McLaren CE (CPP), Zoumas-Morse C, Gerner EW, Meyskens FL (CPP): Role of dietary polyamines in a phase III clinical trial of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) and sulindac for prevention of sporadic colorectal adenomas. Br. J. Cancer 2013 Jan IF(N/A) PM23340449

Xie L, Meyskens FL (CPP): The pan-Aurora kinase inhibitor, PHA-739358, induces apoptosis and inhibits migration in melanoma cell lines. Melanoma Res. 2013 Jan IF(N/A) PM23344158.

Yang Z, Misner B, Ji H, Poulos TL (CSB), Silverman RB, Meyskens FL (CPP), Yang S: Targeting Nitric Oxide Signaling with nNOS Inhibitors As a Novel Strategy for the Therapy and Prevention of Human Melanoma. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 2013 Jan IF(N/A) PM23199242

 Social Networking Tools  

Facebook Twitter
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 Engagement Manager
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
   Clinical Trials

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 Health
UC Irvine School of Medicine
UC Irvine


Organizational Links:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Cooperative Links:
Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
Children's Oncology Group
ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
Gynecologic Oncology Group
National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
SWOG




 Director's Corner

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

Greenfield Many of our patients and colleagues often ask me what it means for a cancer center to be designated “comprehensive.” The National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprehensive designation is the most prestigious honor a cancer center can receive. According to the NCI, a cancer center with the NCI comprehensive designation is characterized by “scientific excellence and the capability to integrate a diversity of research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer in their communities and even globally.” As interim director of our NCI-designated cancer center, I am proud to take part in advancing the overall goal to reduce the effects of cancer and its toll on each individual, as well as families and communities.

NCI states, “A cancer center must demonstrate reasonable depth and breadth of research in each of three major areas: laboratory, clinical, and population-based research, as well as substantial transdisciplinary research that bridges these scientific areas. In addition, a comprehensive center must also demonstrate professional and public education and outreach capabilities, including the dissemination of clinical and public health advances in the communities it serves.” (For more information, please visit: www.cancer.gov)

The University of California, Irvine Cancer Center was established in 1989 as a university-based cancer center. In 1994, it became an NCI-designated cancer center, and it achieved NCI comprehensive cancer center status in 1997. Soon after, it was renamed in honor of the Chao family as the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, operating fully integrated cancer research, prevention, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation programs. The cancer center continues to foster bench-to-bedside research, with programs ranging from basic and clinical sciences research to population-based research. The ultimate mandate for the entire range of programs is to translate the findings of basic research into cancer treatments that can benefit patients.

The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has held our “comprehensive” designation continuously since 1997. Today, only 41 U.S. cancer centers hold the “comprehensive” designation from NCI and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only center in Orange County that has earned this distinction. The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center’s ultimate goal is to assure that we leverage all possible mechanisms to create new opportunities and to generate new energy to further improve cancer-related research, high levels of teaching and excellence in patient care at UC Irvine and beyond to our community and colleagues across the world.

In addition to clinical trials funded in part by biotech and pharmaceutical industries, NCI designation allows for enhanced funding from philanthropic and other sources, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This support will help shared resources that cancer researchers use, for example, to achieve their discoveries and further develop better clinical trials for our patients.

The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center members include physician-scientists. What does that mean to a patient? It means that your oncologist is involved in research. Our researchers at UC Irvine are truly creating a bridge that connects the laboratory to the physician's office to ultimately provide you better cancer care. For example, your physician may be engaged in cancer research, which opens up opportunities for local and national dialogue. Further, the information that is shared with other NCI-designated cancer centers allows for better collaborations, new discoveries and ultimately better treatment plans for you.

Greenfield Signature

Sheldon Greenfield, MD
Interim Director
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


 Feature Story  

Mutant protein may be target for cancer-fighting drugs

Bota1UC Irvine biologists, chemists and computer scientists have identified an elusive pocket on the surface of the p53 protein that can be targeted by cancer-fighting drugs. The finding heralds a new treatment approach, as mutant forms of this protein are implicated in nearly 40 percent of diagnosed cases of cancer, which kills more than half a million Americans each year.

In an open-source study published online in Nature Communications, the UC Irvine researchers describe how they employed a computational method to capture the various shapes of the p53 protein. In its regular form, p53 helps repair damaged DNA in cells or triggers cell death if the damage is too great; it has been called the “guardian of the genome.”



 In the News  

Widespread flaws found in ovarian cancer treatment

Lander In the News: The New York Times highlighted a study led by UC Irvine’s Dr. Robert Bristow which found that most women with ovarian cancer don’t get the proper treatment for their disease:

Most women with ovarian cancer receive inadequate care and miss out on treatments that could add a year or more to their lives, a new study has found.

The results highlight what many experts say is a neglected problem: widespread, persistent flaws in the care of women with this disease, which kills 15,000 a year in the United States. About 22,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, most of them discovered at an advanced stage and needing aggressive treatment. Worldwide, there are about 200,000 new cases a year.

Cancer specialists around the country say the main reason for the poor care is that most women are treated by doctors and hospitals that see few cases of the disease and lack expertise in the complex surgery and chemotherapy that can prolong life.

“If we could just make sure that women get to the people who are trained to take care of them, the impact would be much greater than that of any new chemotherapy drug or biological agent,” said Dr. Robert E. Bristow, the director of gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine, and lead author of the new study presented on Monday at a meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology in Los Angeles.




gray bar
Cancer is even worse in the movies

SenderIn the News: The Orange County Register interviewed Dr. Leonard Sender for an article about the unrealistic view of cancer shown in the movies:

Dr. Leonard Sender, a UC Irvine oncologist who specializes in young-adult cancer, said when he watches movies, he particularly focuses on the portrayals of doctors, sometimes cringing at their arrogance.

He attended an event where Will Reiser, the screenwriter of “50/50,” spoke about the 2011 film, which was based on his diagnosis of spinal cancer at 25. In the movie, the character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt undergoes chemotherapy, sees a therapist and ultimately survives.

“I thought it was really realistic,” Sender said. “Not everyone has to die in the movies. A lot more people are surviving from cancer than dying of cancer.”

Learn More

gray bar
Circadian rhythms can be modified for potential treatment of disorders

SommersUC Irvine-led studies have revealed the cellular mechanism by which circadian rhythms – also known as the body clock – modify energy metabolism and also have identified novel compounds that control this action. The findings point to potential treatments for disorders triggered by circadian rhythm dysfunction, ranging from insomnia and obesity to diabetes and cancer. UC Irvine’s Paolo Sassone-Corsi, one of the world’s leading researchers on the genetics of circadian rhythms, led the studies and worked with international groups of scientists. Their results are detailed in two companion pieces appearing this week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Learn More

gray bar
Department of Radiology introduces a new prostate imaging program at UC Irvine Medical Center

The Department of Radiology has introduced a new prostate imaging program at UC Irvine Medical Center, offering leading-edge prostate MR imaging with DynaCAD technology, a multiparametric assessment of the prostate gland for early detection of cancer and local staging. In addition to its diagnostic capabilities for early cancer detection, the system also features a novel MRI-guided biopsy system to target focal suspicious areas within the prostate gland. Multiparametric MRI is a sensitive modality for early detection of prostate cancer, evaluation of actual tumor burden, and is fairly accurate at tumor grading, says Dr. Sandy Lall, chief of the Division of Abdominal Imaging. It can be used to evaluate tumor risk, leading to more tailored therapy, and is also excellent for active surveillance of high-risk patients.

Learn More

gray bar

 Clinical Trial Spotlight  
UCI-10-39: “Predicting pathological response within the first week of neoadjuvant chemotherapy using functional parameters measured with Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Imaging (DOSI)"

Principal Investigator: David Hsiang, MD

Tewari1The work for this effort is funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Proposal No. BC097812, Award No. Pending, HRPO Log No. A-16236.

This is a study based on a laser scanner built by cancer center members. The laser breast scanner is unique in that it measures the physiologic response of breast in real time without radiation. We are the national leader in this field of bio-optics for breast. In this project, the team is measuring the response of the breast tumor to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and using the results to predict whether the tumor will respond to the selected chemo agents. Historically, one weakness of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is that it is difficult to see who will respond to specific chemotherapy agents. The team has used physical exam, ultrasound and now uses MRI to measure the responses. Basically, physical exams and ultrasounds are inaccurate; MRI is accurate but expensive and mostly is used at the end of the treatment. What the breast laser can do is measure the physiological changes in the breast during the first week of the chemo infusion. The team then uses that information to predict the final response of the tumor several months down the road. The team is also quantifying the factors causing the effects such as inflammatory cytokines and other response markers in the bloodstream.

The team has one inter programmatic (CPP & OIB) paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on this work already. Click below to read the article.

Learn More

 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 profiled members 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

Dominik Wodarz, DPhil (SPT)
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Vieira Dr. Dominick Wodarz is a cancer center faculty appointed as professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. His cancer center faculty appointment is unique in that his focus on the processes of carcinogenesis and the treatment of cancers is rooted in ecological and evolutionary theory. Wodarz uses mathematical models in order to investigate biological processes. In the context of cancer-related research, Wodarz is currently interested in somatic evolutionary processes and the treatment of cancers. Topics under investigation include genetic and epigenetic events in cancer, the role of stem cells and tissue regulation for cancer evolution and progression, the evolution of drug resistance against small molecule inhibitors, the treatment of leukemias, oncolytic virus therapy, and cellular responses to radiation. While these topics are biomedical in nature, the work springs from ecological and evolutionary theory. The mathematical models are based on detailed biological information and provide a framework which can be used to generate new insights, to interpret experimental data, and to design new experiments. Wodarz collaborates closely with a variety of experimental laboratories in order to couple mathematical with empirical work. Apart from his cancer-related interests, Wodarz also works on the dynamics between the immune system and infectious agents, as well as on general evolutionary dynamics. Wodarz works with a variety of experimental laboratories in order to combine mathematical with empirical work. In particular, within UC Irvine he studies cancer treatment with oncolytic viruses together with the laboratory of Hung Fan.

Learn More

 Program Highlight  

Systems, Pathways & Targets (SPT)
Program Leaders:
John Lowengrub, PhD
Marian Waterman, PhD

PoulosWeiss
The Program in Systems, Pathways and Targets (SPT) is now the largest program with members from the former Growth Factors & Signaling, Carcinogenesis, Systems Developmental Biology, and Population Sciences and Prevention Research Programs. There are a large number of “hot science” topics in the program this past year. Particularly noteworthy SPT highlights include:
  • Bioinformatics and Cancer: Wodarz, Komarova, Fan, Komarova, Baldi
  • Systems Biology, Stem Cells and Cancer: Lander, Calof, Lowengrub, Nie
  • Circadian Rhythms and Cancer: Baldi, Andersen
  • Imaging and Cancer: Edwards, Waterman, Donovan, Gratton (OIB)
  • Chemoresistance in Melanoma: Ganesan (CSB)
Learn More

 Shared Resource Highlight  
Optical BiologyCore (OBC)
Director: J. Lawrence Marsh, PhD
Facility Manager: Adeela Syed, PhD

Sandmeyer
The primary objectives of the Optical Biology Core (OBC) are to:
  • Support all basic science and clinical research projects in the use of instrumentation and expertise in optical methods
  • Effectively promote the application of unique core technologies to individual members’ projects
  • Disseminate novel technological information to all researchers
  • Develop new technology and promote the use of novel optical methods in the basic science and clinical science programs in partnership with: 1) the Developmental Biology Center; 2) the Laboratory for Fluoresence Dynamics (LFD); 3) the Beckman Laser Institute LAMMP; 4) the newly organized Center for Complex Biosystems; 5) the Stem Cell Research Center
  • Develop clinical diagnostics and therapeutics through the continuing partnership with the Beckman Laser Institute
  • Promote the use of instrumentation and expertise available for cytometry needs
  • Offer technical instruction, service and support provided by three Shared Resource facilities and personnel, namely the OBC, the BLI and the Cytometry facility
Services Provided:
  • Confocal microscopy
  • 2-photon microscopy
  • Lifetime imaging microscopy
  • TIRF microscopy
  • Single particle tracking
  • Image correlation spectroscopy (ICS)
  • Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS)
  • Velocity mapping
  • Mapping of molecular aggregates from the N&B analysis
  • Fluorescence liteime imaging microscopy (FLIM)
  • FRET via FLIM
  • Extensive training and workshops to bring users rapidly up to the full capabilities of the systems available

Learn More

 Disease Oriented Team (DOT) Highlight  

Colon DOT (C-DOT)
Co-leader: Jason Zell, DO
Co-leader: Robert Edwards, MD, PhD
Surgical Co-leader: Michael Stamos, MD

Tewari2Tewari2Su

 

 


The Colon DOT (C-DOT) conducted three meetings the first quarter of 2013.

January Meeting
Dr. Joseph Carmichael reviewed the colon and rectal surgery cancer research protocols available. Dr. Weian Zhao presented on a translational research study involving blood-based biomarkers related to colon cancer.

February Meeting
Dr. Jason Zell gave an overview of current colorectal cancer clinical trials at UC Irvine. He emphasized the need for more epidemiologic focused research studies in the C-DOT. He also discussed potential trials to bring to UC Irvine. Dr. Zell announced that UC Irvine would participate with University of Arizona’s Cancer Prevention Consortium and confirmed we will be able to compete for funding opportunities.

Grace Chen, director of business development for the Chao Digestive Disease Center, offered to assist with any needed outreach efforts to community physicians.

Dr. Rob Edwards announced that the colon cancer program project grant (PPG) was reviewed on Feb. 4. He also announced a new translational award with Dr. Krish Tewari that is being funded through the ICTS/SOM. Dr. Edwards discussed the experimental tissue shared resource facility's (ETR) ability to provide samples. He stated a new specific consent is currently under review. The
meeting closed with a short discussion about collecting DOT metrics.

March Meeting
Dr. Lydia Su presented on the integration of imaging into colorectal cancer research at UC Irvine. It was announced that the tissue repository has received IRB approval, so human tissue is accessible. In addition, Dr. Edwards announced that the PPG submission received a preliminary score and will resubmit in June.

Learn More

 Congratulations!  

BaldiFrank Meyskens, MD (CPP)
Congratulations to Frank Meyskens for taking first place in the poetry category for the 2013 Plexus Creative Writing Award Contest. His poem “Life Panel” will be featured in this year's Plexus publication.

Learn More

gray bar

BaldiKrish Tewari, MD (CPP)
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s (SGO) 2013 Annual Meeting Program Committee has selected Krish Tewari’s abstract, “Phase III randomized clinical trial of cisplatin plus paclitaxel vs. the non-platinum chemotherapy doublet of topotecan plus paclitaxel in women with recurrent, persistent, or advanced cervical carcinoma: A Gynecologic Oncology Group study,” as the 2013 Hugh R.K. Barber Lectureship; the SGO Presidential Award for Best Oral Abstract. The Hugh Barber Lectureship represents the highest quality in scientific data and research and is considered the most significant abstract for presentation at the Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. This makes three years in a row that the UC Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has had a hand in the most outstanding abstract at the SGO’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.

Learn More

gray bar
LudererArthur Lander, MD, PhD (SPT)
Arthur Lander, a recognized leader in the emerging field of systems biology and whose research has helped identify underlying causes for some cancers and birth defects, has been named the Donald Bren Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology.

The Bren Professors Endowment was established with a gift from Donald Bren, chairman of The Irvine Company, to help UC Irvine attract and retain the nation’s foremost scholars. Dr. Lander joins a distinguished group of faculty researchers, which includes his School of Biological Sciences colleagues, evolutionary biologists Francisco J. Ayala, a 2002 National Medal of Science honoree, and Michael Clegg, the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences.

Learn More

gray bar
UC Irvine School of Medicine and Institute for Clinical and Translational Science announce the Third Annual Dean's Triumvirate Grant Awards
The Triumvirate Grant was created by Dean Ralph Clayman in 2010 to encourage novel collaborations among clinical and basic science researchers from the UC Irvine School of Medicine and other UC Irvine schools and programs. One of this year's awardees is given to the collaboration of Krishnansu Tewari, MD (CPP), FACOG, FACS, David Fruman, PhD (SPT), and Robert Edwards, PhD (SPT) in the amount of $15,000 for their submission, Molecular Analysis of Alterations of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway in Lynch Syndrome-Associated Endometrial Cancer With Clinicopathologic Correlation.

In Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer), endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy. Advanced and/or recurrent disease remains virtually incurable. The researchers will search for mutations (i.e., genetic mistakes) in an important endometrial cancer molecular pathway called the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Identification of these mutations can lead to early diagnosis and enhanced survival in patients with Lynch syndrome-associated endometrial cancer.

Learn More

gray bar

LudererSixteen cancer center members named physicians of excellence

Sixteen members of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center are listed as Physicians of Excellence in the January 2013 issue of Orange Coast magazine. The Physicians of Excellence are selected by the Orange County Medical Association, a voluntary physician member organization that promotes the art and science of medicine, the protection of public health, and the betterment of the medical profession. Cancer center members listed as Physicians of Excellence include:

William B. Armstrong, MD (AS)
Michael L. Berman, MD (AS)
Kenneth J. Chang, MD (CPP)
Philip J. DiSaia, MD (CPP)
Gregory R.D. Evans, MD (CPP)
Ke-Qin Hu, MD (AS)
David K. Imagawa, MD, PhD (SPT)
Kristen M. Kelly, MD (OIB)
Karen T. Lane, MD (CPP)
Jeffrey C. Milliken, MD (AS)
Ninh T. Nguyen, MD (AS)
Leslie M. Randall, MD (SPT)
Leonard S. Sender, MD (CPP)
Michael J. Stamos, MD (CPP)
Krishnansu S. Tewari, MD (CPP)
Brian J.F. Wong, MD (OIB)

Learn More

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


GuanC. Gregory Albers, MD, FACG,
is medical director for GI Diagnostic Services. Albers specializes in treating conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including IBD, gastroesophageal reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, Albers is an expert in colon cancer screening and is fellowship-trained and board-certified in gastroenterology and hepatology. His clinical and academic interests include studying the origins, progression and chemoprevention of colon cancer. Over the years, he has participated in various studies with PI's such as Drs. Holcombe, Zell, Lipkin and Meyskens (Erlotinib Colon Study; Metformin Colon Prevention Study; Arginine Plus Aspirin Colon Study) Dr. Albers has been appointed as an associate member.

MechanicMichael Krychman, MD,
is an associate professor, volunteer faculty in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. In addition, he is executive director of The Southern California Center for Sexual Health & Survivorship Medicine of Newport Beach. As a doctor of sexual medicine, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, and a clinical sexual counselor and author, Krychman has devoted his career to helping patients and their partners overcome sexual health challenges and experience a higher quality of physical intimacy. Krychman is also a specialist in survivorship medicine and provides life coaching and care plans to optimize the health and wellness of patients with chronic diseases or cancer. Krychman has been appointed as an associate member.

PoliceMaksim Plikus, PhD,
is an assistant professor in the Department of Developmental & Cell Biology at UC Irvine. Plikus’ primary interest is in mechanisms of circadian cell cycle regulation in cancers and in chronotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment. Previously his lab showed that in normal mouse hair follicles cell cycle progression is regulated by circadian clock so that mitoses are synchronized in the morning. Same dose of gamma radiation administered to WT mice causes dramatic hair loss in the morning, but not in the evening. He is interested in expanding these observations to studying mitotic synchronization or lack of thereof in cancer cells and in designing novel chronoradiotherapy protocols that preferentially target cancer but not normal proliferative tissues. Plikus has been appointed as a full member in the Systems, Pathways & Targets Research Program.

RazorenovaJames Ward, MD, is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at UC Irvine. Ward is interested in health services research, particularly studying the effect of electronic educational aids on patient-provider communication, patient decision making, healthcare costs, healthcare quality, and patient quality of life. He is also interested in cancer survivorship research. From a clinical standpoint, he is interested in genitourinary oncology and participating in research related to new therapeutics in this field. Dr. Ward has been appointed as a full member in the Cancer Prevention & Prognosis Research Program.