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VICC researchers featured at AACR Annual Meeting

Apr. 8, 2021, 8:37 AM


by Tom Wilemon

Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD

Researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will have a robust presence during the first session of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, April 10-15, as presenters, panelists and authors.

Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Immunobiology and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Immunobiology, is a presenter and panelist for a major symposium on “T Cells in Cancer.” He will speak on “nutrient partitioning and T cell metabolism” and also take part in the broader discussion. Although tumor-specific T cells are found within human cancers, these cancers progress, suggesting that T cells become dysfunctional. The discussion will focus on molecular and microenvironmental factors that determine T cell differentiation and dysfunction in tumors as well as potential mechanisms of responsiveness or resistance to cancer immunotherapy.

Stephen Fesik, PhD

Another major symposium will feature Stephen Fesik, PhD, Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research and professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry. He is a presenter and panelist on “Drugging KRAS” and will speak specifically about “Systematically drugging RAS.” The discussion will focus on drug discovery and potential combination therapies to target the KRAS oncogene.

Andreana Holowatyj, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, will be one of the presenters when the conference highlights ongoing research using the international cancer registry, AACR Project GENIE. She will speak about her work with the registry to identify “racial differences in somatic mutations among patients with early-onset colorectal cancer.” An embargoed abstract about the research is scheduled to be released when she speaks on April 12.

Andreana Holowatyj, PhD

Vanderbilt researchers have contributed to research and authored abstracts that will be presented on clinical trials, epidemiology, health disparities, molecular biology and other cancer research topics. They will be participating in 30 poster sessions.

This year’s AACR annual conference is a virtual event and has been divided into two sessions. The second session is scheduled for May 17-21. Information about that program will be released at the end of the first session.

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