Lecture title: Making Impact: Cancer Centers in the 21st Century
Robert Winn, M.D., was appointed director of VCU Massey Cancer Center on December 2, 2019. In this position, he oversees a cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute that provides outstanding cancer care, conducts groundbreaking research to discover new treatments for cancer and offers high-quality education, training and community outreach programs.
In addition to directing the activities of Massey’s 205 research members – researchers and physicians from 38 departments in 3 colleges and 4 schools at VCU – he also manages a research laboratory at VCU. His current basic science research, which has been supported by multiple National Institutes of Health and Veterans Affairs Merit awards, focuses on the cellular pathways that drive the development and progression of lung cancer and the role of cell division arrest in lung cancer. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 published manuscripts in peer-reviewed academic journals.
Winn is committed to community-engaged research centered on eliminating health disparities. He is a principal investigator on several community-based projects funded by the NIH and National Cancer Institute, including the All of Us Research Program, a NIH precision medicine initiative. He has received national and international acclaim for his efforts to empower underserved patient populations, improve health care delivery and ensure equal access to cancer care.
Also a pulmonologist, Winn actively treats veterans each week at the nearby Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. Winn’s previous faculty appointments include serving as director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center from 2015 to 2019 and as associate vice chancellor of health affairs for community-based practice at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Science System from 2013 to 2019. Prior to joining UIC, he spent 13 years at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and School of Medicine in a variety of leadership roles and clinical faculty appointments, including associate dean of admissions, vice chair of career development/diversity inclusion and senior medical director of the pulmonary nodule clinic.
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Winn was awarded the National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities CURE Program Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and of several other professional societies. Winn holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
The UF Health Cancer Center awards up to five graduate students every year with $10,000 to recognize and support outstanding predoctoral candidates who are conducting innovative cancer research. Awardees give a three-minute thesis presentation at the Cancer Center’s annual research day. The following are this year’s awardees:
- Bayli DiVita Dean
Mentor: Catherine Flores, Ph.D.
Elucidating the role of gliomas on hematopoietic cells
- Abdelrahman Elsayed
Mentor: Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D.
Genome Wide and Targeted Approaches to Identify Biomarkers Associated with Clinical Outcomes in Pediatric AML Patients
- Adaixa Padron
Mentor: Deidre Pereira, Ph.D.
Diurnal Variations in Salivary Concentrations of Pro-Tumorigenic Cytokines and Possible Effects of Psycho-Physiological Stress in Oncology Patients and Matched Healthy Controls
- Mai Tanaka
Mentor: Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.
Multimodal roles of Axl in Cancer Metastasis
- Kartika Venugopal
Mentor: Olga Guryanova, M.D., Ph.D.
Leukemia-associated DNMT3A mutant cells are more sensitive to replication stalling pharmacological agents