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Dr. Tapas Das Gupta Cancer Research Symposium 2019

October 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 2:30 pm

Dr. Tapas Das Gupta Cancer Research Symposium 2019

Immuno-oncology: Opportunities to Improve Cancer Care for All Patients.​

The University of Illinois Cancer Center invites students, researchers and healthcare providers in cancer-related fields to join us for a day of informative presentations.

Lunch will be provided. 

Agenda coming soon.

Attendees must register by October 9. 

Use password gupta2019 to register


Epigenetic Immuno Priming as a Treatment Modality in Solid Tumors
Nita Ahuja, MD, MBA

William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery

Chair, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine

Chief of Surgery, Yale New Haven Hospital

Nita Ahuja, MD, MBA, FACS is Chair of the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief at Yale New Haven Hospital. She is the first woman in Yale’s 200+ year history to lead the Department. Dr. Ahuja specializes in gastrointestinal cancers, and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in translational epigenetics.

Dr. Ahuja obtained her medical education at Duke University School of Medicine. She trained in general surgery at Johns Hopkins, where she completed a fellowship in surgical oncology and went on to join the faculty in 2003. Throughout her 15-year tenure, Dr. Ahuja directed several multidisciplinary surgical oncology programs across the Johns Hopkins health system.

Dr. Ahuja holds numerous national leadership positions including the American Surgical Association, the Commission on Cancer from the Fellowship for the American College of Surgeons, and the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. She has published over 200 papers and book chapters.

Building a Learning Healthcare System
Monica Bertagnolli, MD, FACP, FASCO

Past President, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery

Associate Surgeon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Center

Dr. Bertagnolli is the Richard E. Wilson Professor of Surgery in the Field of Surgical Oncology at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Gastrointestinal Cancer and Sarcoma Disease Centers at Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women’s Cancer Center, where she collaborates with colleagues in medical oncology, radiation oncology, and pathology to treat cancer patients in a tertiary care setting.

Dr. Bertagnolli graduated from Princeton University, and attended medical school at the University of Utah.  She trained in surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and was a research fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DF/BWCC).  Dr. Bertagnolli has a background in laboratory work focusing upon understanding the role of the inflammatory response in epithelial tumor formation.  From 1994-2011, she led gastrointestinal correlative science initiatives within the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Cancer Cooperative Groups, where she facilitated integration of tumor-specific molecular markers of treatment outcome into nation-wide clinical cancer treatment protocols.  From 2007-2018, Dr. Bertagnolli served as the Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at DF/BWCC.  Dr. Bertagnolli has also had numerous leadership roles in multi-institutional cancer clinical research consortia, and currently serves as the Group Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a nation-wide NCI-funded clinical trials group.  She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC, a not-for-profit corporation that conducts international cancer clinical trials.  In addition, Dr. Bertagnolli currently chairs the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a 45,000 member organization serving the needs of physicians and other clinicians who care for patients with cancer.

Oncolytic Poliovirus Therapy for Advanced Breast Cancer
E. Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH

Mary and Deryl Hart Professor of Surgery, in the School of Medicine

Professor of Radiology

Vice Chair of Research for the Duke Department of Surgery

Co-leader of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Duke Cancer Institute.  

Dr. Hwang’s national leadership roles include membership on the NCI Breast Cancer Steering Committee and the NCCN Screening Guidelines Committee. Her research interests include breast cancer prevention, identifying less invasive treatments for early stage breast cancers, and understanding the genetic and stromal determinants of cancer progression. Dr. Hwang leads an interdisciplinary research team, which includes projects related to oncolytic vaccine therapy for advanced breast cancer. Dr. Hwang is the national PI of a cooperative group study through the ALLIANCE, the COMET trial, which studies de-escalation of treatment for in situ breast disease.  She is coPI of the international CRUK PRECISION Grand Challenge project on early stage breast cancer, and she leads the multi-site NCI Precancer Atlas project which is part of the Human Tumor Atlas Network.  Dr. Hwang was the top funded surgeon-scientist in the country in 2019.

A Patient’s Story
Leniel Scott

Patient Brigade Member

University of Illinois Cancer Center

Leniel Scott was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2014 and has been cancer free for five years. Mr. Scott graduated with a B.A. in Communication Arts from Loyola University. He spent 15 years as a job coach assisting people with vision loss to gain permanent employment. For the past 12 years, he has coordinated daily operations and supervised a work team at a clock manufacturing plant. Through his conflict management and problem-solving skills, he works hard to build strong working relationships with team members. A native of Arkansas, Mr. Scott has lived in Chicago for 57 years. He tries to exercise regularly. He spends time offering support to friends battling illness, and he enjoys traveling with his wife and spending time with his grandchildren.


October 16, 2019
9:00 am - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Rebecca Fortier