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Vol. 2, No. 24                                                                                                            Dec. 4, 2019

Cancer Institute Member Spotlight


Rupak Pathak, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Radiation Health
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
UAMS College of Pharmacy
Dr. Pathak’s research focuses on understanding the role of stromal cells in intestinal repair following injury, specifically after radiation injury. Read more>
New NCI Designation Application Guidelines Released
The new Cancer Center Support Grant Program Announcement is out. The NCI releases new instructions for applying for NCI Designation every three years, which are contained in the Program Announcement.

Read the Program Announcement here and watch for upcoming issues of Breakthrough to discuss the new requirements.
Cancer Research Highlights Largest-Ever Showcase of Medical Discoveries
Stephanie Byrum, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, discusses her research with fellow showcase attendees.
Scientists conducting cancer research in the lab, clinic and community gathered Nov. 20 at the 26th UAMS Showcase of Medical Discoveries to share their projects and discuss ways to work together.
 
A quarterly event, the showcase is designed to highlight research areas across UAMS and encourage collaboration among scientists. Cancer research served as the focus of the event held at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. It attracted about 170 attendees from research and clinical areas to learn about the university’s wide scope of cancer research projects.
 
The showcase was co-sponsored by the UAMS Office of Research in conjunction the Cancer Institute, College of Medicine and Office of Institutional Advancement.
 
“This is an excellent time to highlight our cancer research programs, as we focus our efforts on attaining National Cancer Institute Designation and transition to new Cancer Institute leadership under director Dr. Michael Birrer. As we take stock of our strengths, we look forward to advancing our research programs on a strong new trajectory in the upcoming decade,” said Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., vice chancellor of research.
 
Researchers displayed 40 scientific posters representing Cancer Institute programs and numerous UAMS colleges and departments. Together with their colleagues, the scientists joined in lively discussions about the implications and goals of their research. Of the 26 showcases the UAMS Office of Research has presented, this one was by far the largest, Ho said.
 
In addition to viewing the wide range of cancer research programs and gathering information about potential collaborations, attendees learned about the Cancer Institute’s infrastructure and research core facilities available to support their work.
In a brief presentation, Ho recognized Laura Hutchins, M.D., Cancer Institute interim director, for her lifetime of service to UAMS and its cancer programs. Hutchins served in multiple roles at UAMS, including division director of the UAMS Division of Hematology/Oncology for 15 years and program director of the UAMS Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program for 10 years.
 
She held the prestigious Virginia Clinton Kelley Endowed Chair for Clinical Research from March 2007-December 2018. She was associate director for clinical research in the Cancer Institute for 20 years and served as interim director for 18 months, while a search for the new director was underway.
 
“Dr. Hutchins is one the strongest friends of research we have at UAMS. She champions this place in many ways and we are so thankful for her contributions,” Ho said. Hutchins plans to retire in early 2020 as Birrer assumes his new role as Cancer Institute director. 

Read more about the showcase and view additional photos here.
Public Comment Invited on Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, Supplemental Draft Guidance
On November 6, 2019, NIH released a draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing and supplemental draft guidance for public comment. The purpose of these documents are to promote effective and efficient data management and sharing that furthers NIH’s commitment to making the results and accomplishments of the research it funds and conducts available to the public.

Complete information about the draft policy and draft supplemental guidance can be found on the NIH OSP website

Stakeholder feedback is essential to ensure that the draft policy maximizes responsible data sharing, minimizes burden on researchers and protects the privacy of research participants. Stakeholders are invited to comment on any or all aspects of the draft policy, the supplemental draft guidance or other considerations relevant to the draft policy proposal that NIH should consider. 

Those who would like to offer comments can do so on this form. To ensure consideration, comments must be received no later than January 10, 2020.

For additional details about NIH’s thinking on this issue, please see Dr. Carrie Wolinetz’s latest Under the Poliscope blog: NIH’s DRAFT Policy for Data Management and Sharing: We Need to Hear From You!

Finally, NIH will host a webinar on the draft policy in early December.

Questions may be sent to SciencePolicy@mail.nih.gov.
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