An innovative program connects the clients of the Cancer Resource Center and doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows engaged in cancer research at Cornell University. Seminars are led by students about a current topic in cancer research. Presentations are in lay language and attendees are encouraged to ask questions that clarify basic concepts.
To add your name to the email list to announcements about upcoming seminars, send your contact to Bob Riter.
Read more about the collaboration:
- Aiming for the moon (July 2016, Ithaca Times)
- Cornell cancer researchers listen to patients’ stories (Cornell Chronicle, Sept. 2014)
- Ithaca Voice article (Oct. 2014)
- Winning a “ToGo” Award (Town-Gown) award from Cornell (Dec. 2013)
- Cancer scientists talk shop and life with cancer patients (Scopes Magazine, July 2013)
- Community engagement in biomedical sciences and engineering (an academic poster that describes the first three years of the collaboration)
- An academic-style poster “Community Engagement by Cancer Researchers”
Beginning in Spring 2016 and with the support of the Engaged Cornell Initiative, the collaboration expanded and is serving as the foundation for a Graduate Certificate of Engagement in Public Communication of Science and Technology.
Here is a sampling of the seminar topics that have been presented:
- Tumors are more complicated than we thought: Can chemotherapy evolve with our evolving understanding of tumor biology?
- Can exercise reduce the risk of cancer?
Angela Di Francesco, Tina Gibble, Michaela Cioffredi (Ithaca College)
- When Cancer Runs in the Family: The Role of Genetic Testing in Hereditary Cancers
Claire Anderson (Ferre Institute)
- Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate: Using comparative oncology to develop new cancer treatments.
Melissa McDowell and Wilfred Leung.
- Supply and Demand: Tumor Metabolism and the Blood Vessels that Feed It
- Circulating Tumor Cells: A window into cancer
- Precision Medicine
- The Connection Between Sugar and Cancer: It’s Complicated!
- The squishing and squeezing of the cell nucleus in cell migration
Alexandra Lynn McGregor
- From Lab to Patient: Research and Regulatory Hurdles for New Drugs
- Attempting to Understand Metastasis
- Thyroid Cancer: An Overview from a Patient’s Perspective
- Targeting Cancer Cell Metabolism
- Biomarkers: What Are They? What do They Mean?
- Blood Cancer: The Dark Side of Immune System
- Cancer Cell Invasion: How cancer cells use their surroundings to move throughout the body
Alexandra Lynn McGregor
- BRCA Twenty Years Later
- Good Cells Gone Bad: How Cancer Cells Recruit Healthy Cells
- Nanotechology: How Does it Relate to Cancer Research?
- The Immunology of Cancer
- Why Would a Physicist Want to Study Cancer?
- Molecular Pathways
Pei Xin Lim
- Angelina’s Decision: Cancer Genetics and Implications for Testing
A second component of the collaboration integrates doctoral students in the basic sciences into our support groups. It’s not a one-time visit – the students participate for months and become friends with group members.
The comments of one student captures the value of the interaction:
Being involved with support groups at the Cancer Resource Center has been a wonderful and eye-opening experience for me in many ways. As a researcher, my primary experience with cancer is a disease that I want to understand better through laboratory experiments. The interaction with survivors and patients has been invaluable in offering me a completely different perspective. Through the support group, I have been able to experience and apprehend the pain, struggle, uncertainty and fear associated with cancer, but I have also witnessed the strength and determination of many survivors first hand. With this experience, the disease has evolved from a biological problem on a lab bench to something much more personal and emotional on many levels. At the same time, the people I interacted inspired me to continue my work professionally, but in many ways personally also. The sessions have made me aware of the effect of cancer not just on the patients, but also on their future and their family.