March 2015
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Early-life Factors and Cancer Development Later in Life (R03), (R21), (R01)


Advancing Translational and Clinical Probiotic/Prebiotic and Human Microbiome Research (R01)

FY15 Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) Breakthrough Award

View a full list of current funding opportunities. 

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


Shared Resource Spotlight
structural biology crystal structure
Structural Biology

The Structural Biology Shared Resource Core offers instrumentation, computer hardware and software, and support personnel for the determination of molecular structures and the utilization of structural information in cancer research. The personnel of the Structural Biology Shared Resource Core are ready to assist with the needs of structural biology projects. Researchers contemplating inclusion of structural determination or structural modeling in an upcoming project or grant application, please contact the faculty director,  Jan Chlebowski, Ph.D., to discuss how the Structural Biology core can facilitate meeting the needs of the project.

Leaders' UpdateUpdate

A message from director Gordon Ginder

It is critical for Massey that our cancer center members remain compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy. The NIH Public Access Policy requires that publications that cite results from NIH grant-supported research must include an acknowledgement of NIH grant support and disclaimer. Such publications must cite the following:

  • The correct name of any Massey shared resource used in support of the research
  • The Massey CCSG grant award number P30 CA016059
  • A PMCID as assigned from a manuscript's submission to PubMed Central
Research HighlightsHighlights
Massey research leads to multi-institutional early phase clinical trial for relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphomas

Steven Grant, M.D
Developmental Therapeutics
Cancer Cell Signaling
Massey researcher Steven Grant is the co-PI on a NCCN grant funding a phase 1 clinical trial testing the drugs volasertib and belinostat in patients with relapsed and refractory aggressive B-cell and T-cell lymphomas. The $453,852 award will help implement the clinical trial at Massey, Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. The multi-institutional clinical trial is based on pre-clinical research from Grant's laboratory that found that Polo-like kinase 1 inhibitors such as volasertib interact synergistically with HDAC inhibitors such as belinostat to kill leukemia and lymphoma cells.

National clinical trials offered at Massey utilize precision medicine aimed at improving treatment of early-stage lung cancer
Developmental Therapeutics

Massey is currently offering clinical trials for patients with early-stage lung cancer that utilize cutting-edge precision medicine techniques with the aim of improving treatment. This group of three integrated national clinical trials known as ALCHEMIST - Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trials - use next-generation sequencing to identify patients with early-stage lung cancer whose tumors harbor specific and uncommon changes in EGFR and ALK. The goal of ALCHEMIST is to determine whether treatments targeted against those particular gene alterations are more effective in preventing recurrence and improving survival than the current standard of care involving chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy after the tumor's removal. At Massey, the trial is led by Sherman Baker.

Center News Center1
Massey participates in national chat on the emotional side of healing

Developmental Therapeutics
The Emotional Side of Healing was the subject of an ABC News National Health Twitter chat this month, and patients, caregivers and clinicians were all asked to weigh-in on this area of interest. Massey's Egidio Del Fabbro, program director of palliative care, and Danielle Noreika, medical director of inpatient palliative care services, provided expert commentary as the moderator posed a series of questions and discussion topics. 


Member Showcase MemberShowcase
New research member joins Developmental Therapeutics

Giao Phan
Giao Phan, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics member
Massey welcomes Giao Phan as a research member in the Developmental Therapeutics program. She is an associate professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology.

Phan's clinical and research interests include melanoma, immunotherapy, adoptive cell therapy and endocrine diseases.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Massey investigator selected for the Lymphoma Research Foundation's Clinical Research Mentoring Program

Victor Yazbeck, M.D. Developmental Therapeutics member
The Lymphoma Research Foundation has accepted Massey researcher Victor Yazbeck into its Clinical Research Mentoring Program (CRMP). The CRMP is a two-year program that selects up-and-coming lymphoma researchers to participate in educational courses, laboratory work and clinical studies in order to further their own research goals.

Through the program, Yazbeck, member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program and hematologist-oncologist at Massey, will work with a mentor to implement his own clinical trial. His study addresses the need for more successful therapeutic options for certain lymphoma patient subgroups that are resistant to chemotherapy, including those who have relapsed after a bone marrow transplant.


EventsUpcoming Events

Cancer Research Seminars
Fundraising Event

The Massey Challenge doesn't end with the 10k this year. Register for the RE Strong Run, Petersburg Marathon & 5k or the Run for the Dream Half Marathon to make your run count and to help put cancer on the run! For more information visit

For a full listing of events, 


RVA News

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Submit your news to Stevi Antosh at or (804) 628-4578.
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