The Doctor Is In Spring Seminars 



2018 Annual Symposium

Next generation therapies targeting the genes that drive tumor progression are creating exciting new treatment options for some cancer patients, but for most they are not a suitable option.  Beyond genomics, however, there are many other precision approaches, from using existing cancer medicines more effectively, to exploiting cancer-specific biological mechanisms, to drugging “undruggable” targets. On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the MIT Center for Precision Medicine held its inaugural symposium in the Samberg Conference Center at MIT. The full-day symposium featured experts from around the country, who discussed how these alternative precision medicine approaches are changing the landscape of cancer research and treatment. An industry panel discussed barriers to instituting precision medicine clinical trials. Learn more

Nature Cell Biology Editor Visit

On Wednesday, October 10, the CPCM hosted Dr. Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou, chief editor of premier scientific journal Nature Cell Biology. Dr. Zaromytidou spent a full day at MIT, meeting with several faculty members to discuss their work. Over lunch, Dr. Zaromytidou met with ten trainees from CPCM labs and other groups at MIT. Their discussions covered the nature of publishing, how to write a compelling article and career options in science communication. Dr. Zaromytidou rounded out her visit by giving a formal presentation entitled “Publishing in the Nature Journals: the Editor’s Perspective,” which was very well attended.  

Visits like Dr. Zaromytidou’s provide valuable opportunities for CPCM members to engage directly and informally with members of the broader scientific community outside the laboratory. Moreover, the perspectives shared help researchers, and trainees especially, to think about how they might best organize and present their work, or pursue professional and career development goals.  

The Doctor is In!

The MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine (CPCM), with support from KI Clinical Fellow Salil Garg, re-started the KI’s “The Doctor is In” seminar series. The goal of these seminars is to discuss the current state of clinical management of different cancer types, and each is given by a practicing oncologist. The first talk of the year was given by Dr. Michael Dougan from Massachusetts General Hospital, who spoke about the inflammatory side effects of immunotherapy and way that those sides effects (and their management) impact the antitumor response in patients. Given his engaging presentation style and the high interest in checkpoint blockade therapy, it was no surprise the room was packed!

Next month’s “The Doctor is In” seminar will be given Thursday, October 11, 12-1 pm by Dr. Gerburg Wulf, an oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her research is focused on new therapies for breast cancer. Mark your calendars!

2018 Cambridge Science Festival

As part of the 12th annual Cambridge Science Festival, CPCM members participated in the Koch Institute’s signature event “Putt-ing Cancer in its Place.” The pop-up cancer research-themed mini-golf course was held on Friday, April 20, 2018 in MIT’s North Court. Approximately 150 visitors swung by to “putt” cancer in its place, navigating the mysteries of metastasis, the nuances of nanomedicine, and the perilous pathways of precision medicine. A big thank you to all the people who came out to learn about cancer research and the Center for Precision Cancer Medicine, and to all the volunteers who made this event possible!

Annual AACR Meeting

Just last month the Center’s insignia was displayed proudly at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Held this year in Chicago, the AACR annual meeting is a four-day, mainstay professional gathering attracting more than 20,000 attendees from several dozen countries. AACR attendees were among the first outside MIT to see the Center’s logo on a variety of materials including Hemann lab trainees’ talk and poster, and on Professor Koehler’s slides as she chaired the session, “From Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 1—Chemical Probes for Identifying and Validating Drug Targets.”

Congratulation to Susy Ramos-Morales, an MD/ PhD student in the Hemann lab, for receiving a 2018 AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award for her work on uncovering novel mechanisms of resistance in AML using integrative functional genomics. 

CPCM Community Meetings

Center meetings are held on a monthly basis, and include both scientific and social components. Presentations include external speakers—such as Dr. Benjamin Schlechter, a medical oncologist at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and featured guest at the Center’s inaugural meeting— as well as research highlights from a rotating roster of member labs, presented by trainees.

These community meetings will be held on a monthly basis, with the next one being scheduled for Wednesday, 5/23, 4:30-6 pm in 76-156. Save the date!