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Scholar Retreat

October 12–15, 2017

Chaired By

 Nabeel Bardeesy, PhD of Massachusetts General Hospital

Meeting Description

The Scholar Retreat held annually, invites scholars and mentors to attend a 3-day meeting. This meeting focuses on bringing junior scientists together from various areas of cancer research. The collaborations and innovative ideas that come from this meeting have been numerous and outstanding. The mentors provide great guidance regarding science and career for these junior scientists.

At the Retreat, the Scholars share their research with the other Scholars and Mentors. Each Scholar will participate in four sequential retreats, with all expenses paid by WGFRF. The opportunity for Scholars to connect and form relationships with researchers from completely different areas of cancer research and to have a sort of peer review is one of the most valuable roles of the Retreat. Through the Mentors, the Retreat offers Scholars guidance on practical career issues such as writing grants and preparing successful scientific publications.

Each year, the Scholar Retreat coincides with the Foundation’s annual ‘Blue Jean Ball’ fundraiser. All Scholars attend this event, providing them an opportunity to meet with families whose lives have been directly affected by cancer. This experience resonates particularly with scientists who, unlike clinicians, do not have contact with patients, by putting a human face on cancer.

Meeting Summary

The meeting brought together Scholars from areas of research in Resistance Mechanisms, Invasion and Metastasis, Immunotherapy, and Chromosomal Aneuploidy. The overall goals of the Scholar Retreats are to stimulate cross-disciplinary discussion among researchers, to provide mentorship on career development from senior scientists, and to create camaraderie among the group to lead to research collaborations.

The meeting was kicked off by a keynote address from Dr. Raul Mostoslavsky, Associate Professor of Medicine, at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School. He spoke about his journey as a scientist from being a medical student in a provincial town in Argentina to studies across 3 continents leading to his establishment of his own laboratory in Boston. He stressed the serendipity of discovery; the values of open-mindedness, curiosity, and collaboration; and emphasizing the privilege of being able to do scientific research, he motivated all who attended.

Those mentors (senior scientists who had not previously been to a Forbeck event) found that the Retreat was a revelation in how scientific communication should work and were in great admiration for the commitment of the Foundation to create and maintain such a great legacy of contribution to the cancer research community. The Foundation plays a truly unique role in the cancer research world, and it is extraordinary that its contributions remain as fresh and important as ever.

Forum Participants

Esra Akbay, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Stephen Artandi, MD, PhD
Stanford University
 Retreat Mentor

Maria-Francis Artega
King's College London
 Forbeck Scholar

Nabeel Bardeesy, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
 Retreat Mentor

Uri Ben-David, PhD
Broad Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Marion Dorsch, PhD
Blue Print Medicines
 Retreat Mentor

Cory M. Johannessen, PhD
Broad Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Lilian Kabeche, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
 Forbeck Scholar

Rosandra Kaplan, MD
National Cancer Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Annette Kunkele, MD
University Hospital Berlin
 Forbeck Scholar

Mia Levine, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
 Forbeck Scholar

Shannon Maude, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
 Forbeck Scholar

Raul Mostoslavsky, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
 Retreat Mentor

Chad Pecot, MD
University of North Carolina
 Forbeck Scholar

Stefano Santaguida, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Forbeck Scholar

Kristopher A. Sarosiek, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Jason Sheltzer, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
 Forbeck Scholar

Mario Shields, PhD
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
 Forbeck Scholar

Stefani Spranger, PhD
University of Chicago
 Forbeck Scholar

Neil Umbreit, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Louise van der Weyden, PhD
Wellcome Sanger Institute
 Forbeck Scholar

Kathryn Wellen, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
 Retreat Mentor

Kris Cameron Wood, PhD
Duke University
 Forbeck Scholar