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Tapas Das Gupta Cancer Research Symposium

October 17, 2018 at 8:30 am - 3:00 pm


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

Breakfast & lunch will be provided.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.     Registration & Breakfast


9:30 – 9:45 a.m.     Opening Remarks

Robert Winn, MD, University of Illinois Cancer Center Director

John H. Stewart, IV, MD, MBA, Associate Director, Clinical Research

Enrico Benedetti, MD, Medical Director, Department of Surgery


9:50 – 10:50 a.m.            

Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD

Daniel K. Ludwig Distinguished Service Professor, The University of Chicago Medical Center, Chairman, Dept. of Radiation and Cellular Oncology
Director, Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research
Oligometastasis: From Conception to Practice”

Paula M. Vertino, PhD

Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine
“Epigenetic regulation of transcriptional plasticity: Implications for cancer biology and therapy”


10:50-11:00 a.m.     Break


11:00 – 11:30 a.m.  

Clifton David Fuller, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
“Integrating Quantitative Imaging Information into Cancer Care: Image-guided head and neck radiotherapy”


11:30 – 12:15 p.m.   Lunch,  Poster Session


12:15 – 1:15 p.m.    

Douglas S. Tyler, MD

John Woods Harris Distinguished Chair in Surgery, Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch
“Current trends in the management of malignant melanoma: A surgical perspective

Cathy J. Bradley, PhD

Grohne Endowed Chair for Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Associate Dean for Research, Colorado School of Public
Health, Associate Director, Population Sciences Research, University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center, Professor, Health Systems, Management, and Policy
“Emerging Trends in the Study of Cancer’s Economic Consequences”


1:15-1:30 p.m.                  

Candace Henley
Patient Survivor Speaker


1:30-1:45 p.m.          Break


1:45-2:15 p.m           Panel Discussion and Q&A


2:30 p.m.                   Closing remarks

Dr. Ralph Weichselbaum specializes in the treatment of potentially curative treatment of “oligo” metastasis with radiotherapy.

Dr. Weichselbaum’s research interests include mechanisms of tumor spread and how radiation therapy and immunotherapy can be used to better treat cancer. He is also studying patterns of gene expression in human tumors that confer resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Weichselbaum invented a radio-inducible form of gene therapy, TNFerade, which is currently in clinical trials. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 35 years.

He is also editor of Cancer Medicine, a definitive reference textbook compiled to help oncologists and internists apply scientific principles to clinical practice.

“Epigenetic Regulation of Transcriptional Plasticity: Implications for Cancer Biology and Therapy”

Paula M. Vertino, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and the leader of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Program of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Dr. Vertino is a cancer research scientist internationally recognized for her work in the field of cancer epigenetics. She has a longstanding record of extramural research support from the NCI, the American Cancer Society, NASA and the Georgia Cancer Coalition. She served as a regular member on the Cancer Etiology study section at the NIH, is a former member of the editorial board of Cancer Research, and currently appointed to NCI Subcommittee A, which oversees the review of NCI-designated Cancer Centers nationwide.

Dr. Vertino has been actively engaged in graduate and postgraduate education and has trained and mentored numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents in her laboratory. She is currently the Director of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program and the co-director for research for the Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program. She has held leadership roles in the Genetics and Molecular Biology Graduate Program, the Cancer Biology Graduate Program, and currently leads Emory’s American Cancer Society Institutional Research grant. Dr. Vertino has received several honors and awards, including Avon Breast Cancer Scholar award, Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar, and most recently induction into the ‘Emory Millipub Club’ and the ‘Emory 1%’, recognizing Emory faculty that have authored articles cited more than 1,000 times, and with NIH grants scoring in the top 1% at peer review.

“Integrating Quantitative Imaging Information into Cancer Care: Image-guided Head and Neck Radiotherapy”

Dr. Fuller’s research focus remains development of evidence-based “personalized radiotherapy” techniques by incorporation of novel imaging methodologies. To date, the bulk of his work has focused on improving multimodality (e.g. PET-CT, MRI, US) imaging for target delineation in the multi-institutional setting.

He has had specific and singular expertise in imaging physics and human imaging trial design, analysis and execution, acquired as part of his PhD and post-doctoral training. As a formal component of the MD Anderson K12 Paul Calabresi Clinical Trial training program, in addition to direct instruction in clinical trial design and imaging informatics, he has completed ABME board subspecialty certification in Clinical Informatics in addition to primary ABR certification in Radiation Oncology. As a radiation oncologist with informatics certification and formal medical physics training, he is uniquely positioned to execute image-guided radiotherapy clinical trials.

His long-term goal is to execute a practice-pattern changing, cooperative group-supported radiotherapy trial which incorporates a quantitative imaging biomarker for risk stratification, adaptive therapy planning, and/or surrogate endpoint used in head and neck cancer.

“Current Trends in the Management of Malignant Melanoma: A Surgical Perspective

Dr. Tyler completed his undergraduate education in 1981 at Dartmouth College and received his Medical Degree in 1985 from Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Tyler started his surgical training at Duke University in the General Surgery Residency program under the direction of Dr. David C. Sabiston Jr. in 1985. Upon completion of his training, he spent 2 years at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in their Surgical Oncology Fellowship before being recruited back to Duke in 1994. Over a twenty-year career at Duke, Dr. Tyler rose to be a Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology within the Department of Surgery, a Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and Director of the melanoma program at Duke University Medical Center and Cancer Institute.  Dr. Tyler was also an Associate Director of the Duke Cancer Institute in charge of strategic planning and Chief of the Surgical Services at the Durham VA Medical Center for over 10 years prior to his transition to UTMB. At Duke, Dr. Tyler was active in teaching and received both the Davison Medical Student teaching award as well as the Sabiston Resident Teaching Award on two occasions.

Dr. Tyler’s clinical practice focuses on GI cancers and melanoma. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed manuscripts and runs a funded research laboratory focused on novel strategies to treat regionally advanced melanoma.  Nationally, Dr. Tyler is a Senior Director on the American Board of Surgery (ABS), having recently completed a six-year term as a Director.  He was also Chairman of the newly created Complex General Surgical Oncology Board, a component Board of the ABS, from 2014-2016, overseeing the credentialing process for individuals who have trained in ACGME approved Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowships. Dr. Tyler is currently serving a three-year term as Secretary of the Society of Surgical Oncology and is a member of numerous other surgical societies, including the American Surgical Association, the Society of Clinical Surgery, and the Halsted Society. Dr. Tyler and his wife, Donna, have two daughters, Britta (27) and Colby (25).

“Emerging Trends in the Study of Cancer’s Economic Consequences”

Cathy J. Bradley, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Research in the Colorado School of Public Health and the Deputy Director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. She holds the Grohne Chair in Cancer Prevention and Control research. Dr. Bradley is a Professor in the Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy in the Colorado School of Public Health. Prior to joining the University of Colorado, she was the founding Chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Since 1998, she has been funded as a principal investigator by the National Institutes of Health, and has received funding from the American Cancer Society, the Commonwealth Fund, and various state and international agencies. Her work has appeared in leading health economic and health services research journals. Dr. Bradley’s main research interests are the intersection of labor supply, health, and insurance; health disparities; and the costs and outcomes of cancer and its treatment. She is an expert in linking registry data with medical claims and electronic medical records, and most recently conducted a randomized controlled trial of cash incentives to encourage primary care visits among low-income uninsured adults.

Dr. Bradley serves on numerous national committees, including the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine National Cancer Policy Forum and Healthcare System Research & Quality Study Section; Agency for Healthcare Quality & Research; and the National Advisory Committee to the Agency for Healthcare Quality & Research. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement Award in Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Bradley received her PhD and MPA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.


October 17, 2018
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


UIC Student Center West, Thompson Rooms, 2nd floor
828 S Wolcott Ave
Chicago, IL 60612 United States
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Sheila Metzner