Launched in 2016 and the brainchild of CCF Scientific Advisory Board Chair Jeffrey Toretsky, M.D., of Georgetown Lombardi, the CCF Research Symposium is based on the belief that small local research dialogue will go a long way toward substantial research collaboration. Regional experts, advocates, and trainees share their research and continue to advance the treatment of childhood cancer.
The one-day event was attended by over 80 participants and was generously hosted by Giant Food. CCF gratefully acknowledges the support of The Kahlert Foundation and all volunteers who contributed to an incredible day of learning.
Attendees heard from Keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Bollard, of Children’s National, who shared her journey as a groundbreaking researcher in immunotherapy and presented its greater potential for treating childhood cancers.
The 2017 Giant Food Next Gen research awardee, Dr. Haneen Shalabi, of the National Cancer Institue at NIH, presented the progress of her CCF-funded research on CAR-T cell therapy for leukemia patients.
Additional speakers included:
- Holly Meany, M.D., Children’s National
- Micah J. Maxwell, M.D., Ph.D, Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Jeffrey Rubens, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Saravana Selvanathan, Ph.D., Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Helka Peredo-Pinto, M.D., Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Haydar Çelik, Ph.D., Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Kirsten Williams, M.D., Children’s National
The greatest opportunity for research exchange and discussion was offered during the mid-day poster sessions, where participants talked with more than 30 poster presenters from area research institutions. A plan for new collaboration and a discussion of similar hurdles faced in one’s research were two highlights from this session.
The most emotional part of the day came from those directly impacted by pediatric cancer, who shared their journeys – Alisha Bartels, who lost her son, John Eric, to neuroblastoma, and Kalani Looper who survived her battle with AML as a teen.
CCF is grateful to these courageous and dedicated individuals that participated in the symposium and looks forward to following the incredible advancements that they make with their research, trials, treatments, and advocacy.
The 4th Annual CCF Research Symposium is tentatively scheduled for June 5, 2019.