July 2015
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01)


The Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium (U01)


Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) - Horizon Award




The Massey Pilot Project Program is calling for applications. The program offers funding for pilot projects to encourage new collaborative cancer research. Massey research members are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 for a one-year project.

Submission Deadlines:
Pre-application forms are due August 27, 2015.
Full applications are due October 1, 2015.


Application forms, submission and budget guidelines, and the latest call for applications for the Massey Pilot Project Program are available on the Massey Research and Resources Funding webpage.


View a full list of current funding opportunities. 

Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring.


Senior Molecular Genetics Researcher (F36090)

Shared Resource Spotlight
Tissue and Data Acquisition and Analysis Core

The Tissue and Data Acquisition and Analysis Core (TDAAC) aids researchers with the acquisition of quality controlled residual human tissue and hematopoietic samples; collection of fresh samples to meet specific protocol needs; obtaining patient-informed consent for specific IRB-approved protocols; and customized human and non-human sample tissue and hematopoietic processing, to include mononuclear cell separation and cryopreservation of hematopoietic samples.


For more information, please contact the TDAAC manager

Pamela Jill Grizzard or visit the Massey website.

Leaders' UpdateUpdate

A message from Steve Grant, associate director for translational research

Grant, Steven

I am pleased to share that Massey continues to be successful in translating exciting scientific discoveries into clinical trials.


This message continues with more on:

  • Two Massey phase 1 investigator-initiated trials (IITs) for hematologic malignancies and a phase 2 Massey IIT for locally advanced, HER2-negative breast cancer that are poised to open soon
  • A phase 2 Massey IIT for multiple myeloma and a phase 1 Massey IIT for advanced solid tumor malignancies that were recently completed
  • A phase 1 Massey IIT for advanced solid tumor malignancies that opened this month
  • The addition of Dr. Bill McGuire to the Phase 1 Solid Tumor Program
Research HighlightsHighlights
Novel model developed to predict amount of nicotine emitted from e-cigarettes

Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D. Cancer Prevention and Control 
Massey researchers led by Thomas Eissenberg have developed the first ever model that can predict with up to 90 percent accuracy the amount of nicotine emitted from an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette). The model measures the output voltage of the e-cigarette device, the concentration of the liquid nicotine and the length of time the user might inhale from the device in one puff. The study was published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.


Patients at risk for stem cell transplant complications identified

Developmental Therapeutics
Researchers at Massey's Bone Marrow Transplant Program have recently published findings from a phase 2 clinical trial that demonstrate lymphocyte recovery in related and unrelated stem cell transplant recipients generally falls into three patterns that are significantly associated with survival. The first-of-its-kind research continues the efforts of principal investigator Amir Toor to understand the immune system as a dynamical system that can be modeled to improve stem cell transplantation. The study was published in the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.


Link found between cancer gene and obesity

Cancer Molecular Genetics
Massey researchers led by Devanand Sarkar have discovered that the Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) known to cause cancer may also play a role in determining if someone becomes obese. Recent discoveries suggest that AEG-1 could even be controlled with certain therapies to prevent or reverse obesity and obesity-related cancers. The research findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Bioconjugate Chemistry.

Center News Center1
Massey partners with OncLive to raise awareness of cancer research and treatment

Massey has formed a strategic partnership with OncLiveŽ to give health care professionals and patients direct, timely access to important oncology research and clinical practice news from Massey and more than 30 other leading cancer centers, nursing schools and physician groups around the country via OncLive's publications. As part of this partnership, Massey researchers will author three articles for OncLive publications each year. If you have an idea for an article, please email it to masseynews@vcu.edu.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase

Darlene Brunzell named program leader of Cancer Prevention and Control

Brunzell, Darlene 2015
 Darlene H. Brunzell, Ph.D. Cancer Prevention and Control co-leader
Darlene Brunzell has been appointed the co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) research program at Massey. She will serve in this capacity alongside Jennifer Elston Lafata, who has co-led the program since 2010. As co-leader of CPC, Brunzell will serve on the cancer center's senior leadership team and will help develop and guide the strategic direction of the CPC program. She will focus on opportunities to grow Massey's CPC membership, foster transdisciplinary collaborations among the program and increase its funding base.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Massey researcher awarded grant to further develop a novel therapy for neuroblastoma

Anthony Faber, Ph.D. Developmental Therapeutics member
Massey researcher Anthony Faber was awarded a $46,000 grant from the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and The Truth 365. The award supports his research to further develop a therapy that involves a combination of the developmental and orally available drug agents ABT-199 and MLN8237. Preliminary, preclinical data by Faber demonstrate the combination of ABT-199 and MLN8237 to be very effective in treating MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.

EventsUpcoming Events

Cancer Research Seminars
There are no scheduled seminars during the summer. Seminars will resume in September. 

Monthly Research Meetings

6th Annual Massey on the River

Join us Saturday, September 12, 2015, on Mayo Island for the 6th Annual Massey on the River presented by Apex Systems and hosted by the Massey Alliance. This event featuring music, refreshments and a silent auction benefits cancer research at Massey.

For a full listing of events, 

mediaMassey in the Media


NewsTop Cancer News
Share with us your research, awards and accomplishments!
Submit your news to Stevi Antosh at slantosh@vcu.edu or (804) 628-4578.
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