December 2014  
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Administrative Supplements for Tobacco Regulatory Research on the Public Display of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHC) Information (Admin Supp) (PA-15-046)


Validation of Molecular Diagnostics to Predict Patient Outcomes Using Specimens from Multi-Site Cancer Trials (R21) (PA-12-014) 


Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list. 

Shared Resource Spotlight

The VCU Microscopy Facility provides VCU researchers with equipment and expertise required for multi-dimensional imaging of cells and tissues and to perform quantitative image analysis. Resources include confocal, multi-photon, super-resolution, TIRF, widefield and electron microscopy, as well as equipment for live cell imaging and image analysis. Services include sample preparation, imaging, molecular localization and image analysis. The Microscopy Facility staff provides training, technical support and imaging assistance. The facility director, Scott Henderson, an associate professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, is available for consultation and scientific collaboration.

To learn more about the VCU Microscopy Facility, visit the Massey website.

Leaders' UpdateUpdate

A message from director Gordon D. Ginder

As we approach the end of the calendar year, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the significant amount of progress made at Massey Cancer Center in 2014.

This message continues with more on:
  • The growth in Massey's research membership
  • The increase of Massey's year-over-year total peer-reviewed funding
  • Expansion of Massey's training programs
  • Massey's NCORP-MU grant
Research HighlightsHighlights
Massey scientists seek to improve stem cell transplant outcomes through computer modeling of next generation sequencing data
Amir Toor, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics member

Is the human immune system similar to the weather - a seemingly random yet dynamical system that can be modeled based on past conditions to predict future states? Scientists led by Amir Toor at Massey's Bone Marrow Transplant Program believe it is, and they recently published several studies that support the possibility of using next-generation DNA sequencing and mathematical modeling to not only understand the variability observed in clinical outcomes of stem cell transplantation, but also to provide a theoretical framework to make transplantation a possibility for more patients who do not have a related donor.

Targeted treatment Herceptin found to greatly improve long-term survival of HER2-positive breast cancer patients
Charles Geyer, Jr., M.D. Developmental Therapeutics

Massey physician-researcher Charles E. Geyer, Jr., was the National Protocol Officer for one component of a large national study involving two National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported clinical trials that demonstrated that trastuzumab significantly improves the long-term survival of HER-2 positive breast cancer patients. The combined study was designed to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of the drug trastuzumab, which is commonly known as Herceptin and is primarily used alongside chemotherapy to treat HER2-positive breast cancer. The combined study focused on both the overall survival rates of patients up to ten years post-treatment as well as the known and potentially harmful side effects to the cardiac system. 

Scientists define important gene interaction that drives aggressive brain cancer
Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D
Cancer Molecular Genetics
Luni Emdad, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics

Scientists at Massey have identified a novel interaction between a microRNA and a gene that could lead to new therapies for the most common and deadly form of brain cancer, malignant glioma. Led by Luni Emdad and Paul B. Fisher the study provided the first evidence of an important link between a specific microRNA, miR-184, and a cancer promoting gene, SND1, in the regulation of malignant glioma.

Center News Center1
Massey physicians win Best Bedside Manner Awards

Six Massey physicians were recognized by the community as having the best bedside manner in the 2014 Annual Best Bedside Manner Awards presented by Our Health Richmond magazine. 

The public voted for medical providers in the Richmond area based on kindness, empathy and attentiveness.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase
Renowned oncology and palliative care researcher joins Massey as a research member
Deborah McGuire, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Cancer Prevention and Control member


Massey welcomes Deb McGuire as a new member of the Cancer Prevention and Control program. McGuire is a nurse scientist and associate dean for research at the VCU School of Nursing.


She is a nationally renowned researcher in oncology and palliative care and in 2013 was named VCU's first ever Florence E. Elliott Professor. McGuire has published in many journals and serves as president of the International Society of Oral Oncology. She is also a member of the Mucositis Leadership Group of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society for Oral Oncology, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and numerous other organizations.


Researcher Recognition Recognition
Massey researchers and physicians receive VCU Faculty Excellence Awards

Massey physicians and researchers were recently honored at the VCU School of Medicine's 16th Annual Faculty Excellence Awards. Established in 1999, these awards formally recognize exceptional faculty for their leadership, mentorship and professional excellence. 


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