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Previous Symposia

10th Anniversary Translational Oncology Symposium

A decade of fostering collaborations, fueling innovation & saving lives: MCC Translational Oncology Symposium unites academic and industrial communities to deliver innovative, life-saving cancer therapies, tools and diagnostics

We would like to thank all speakers and attendees for such a successful symposium. It was such an impressive turnout of distinguished colleagues from the academic and private sectors, convening to share ideas and discuss opportunities to work more closely together, truly indicating a widespread commitment to closing the gap between the discovery and development of new therapies to help patient. We feel this was our most successful event yet, celebrating a decade of gathering the elite minds in oncology research.


San Diego ABC 10 News reporter Michael Chen interviewed San Diego resident Heather Clark, a patient of Moores Cancer Center, along with Ida Deichaite, Director of Industry Relations & Symposium Organizer, in a video report about the I-SPY Clinical Trial and Symposium. The I-SPY Clinical Trial is lead by Symposium Keynote Speaker and Principle Investigator Laura Esserman, MD, MBA. For the video, see here.

Featured Talks

Please enjoy the featured talks below from our recent symposium. Thank you! Please note: These videos are for private viewing only. Any unintended use of the videos without consent is prohibited.

Development of BMN 673, a potent and selective poly-(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP)-1/2 inhibitor in selected patients with homologous recombination defects

Gilles Gallant, BPharm PhD
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.

Translational considerations for a novel inhibitor of p97 for the treatment of myeloma and solid tumors

Laura Shawver, PhD
Cleave Biosciences, Inc.

Zeroing in an oncogenic driver: The Rapid Evolution of Targeted Therapies for Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase-Positive Lung Cancer

Valeria Fantin, PhD

Reversing Cancer Stemness and Drug Resistance

David Cheresh, PhD
Moores Cancer Center

Development of Highly Active Cancer Stem Cell Therapy

Dennis Carson, MD
Moores Cancer Center

Stem cell principles applied to colon cancer: tracing clonal dynamics and targeting self-renewal

Antonija Kreso, PhD
University of Toronto

Malignant Reprogramming and Cancer Stem Cells

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD
Moores Cancer Center

Will 5 billion be approved by California voters for CIRM in 2016?

Robert Klein
Klein Financial Corporation


Pradeep Khosla
UC San Diego

SF3B1 mutations in different cancer types cause recognition of sterically hindered cryptic splice-sites downstream of the branch point

Kelly Frazer, PhD
Moores Cancer Center

Omics as a Disruptive Technology: Implications for Cancer Therapy

Razelle Kurzrock, MD
Moores Cancer Center

Precision Oncology Strategies: Targeting Genetic and Epigenetic Drivers in Cancer Drug Development

James Christensen, PhD
Mirati Therapeutics

A novel isoform of the RON kinase transforms pancreatic duct epithelial cells

Andrew Lowy, MD, FACS
Moores Cancer Center


Robert MacLeod, PhD
Isis Pharmaceuticals

Nuclear Receptors: Integrating Molecular Endocrinology and Drug Discovery

Richard Heyman, PhD
Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Androgen Receptor Signaling Axis on CRPC – The A to Z in Drug Development

NamPhuong Tran, MD
Janssen R&D

Panel Discussion: Funding Innovation

Chris Cain, PhD, SciBX:Science-Business eXchange, BioCentury Publications

Panel Members:
Michael Flaschen, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Richard Heyman, PhD, Seragon Pharmaceuticals
Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, Moores Cancer Center
Jay Lichter, PhD, Avalon Ventures
Greg Simon, Poliwogg

“When you go to an international cancer symposium with 30,000 people, it’s hard to get to the real champion of a project and get their individualized attention. The Moores Cancer Center Translational Oncology Symposium is much more intimate. Industry and academia are on equal footing and there are plenty of opportunities for informal discussions when a lot of synergies develop and collaborations begin or grow.”

- Catriona Jamieson, Ph.D., M.D.,
Director of Stem Cell Research at Moores Cancer Center

The MCC Translational Oncology Symposium is designed as an international forum to foster introductions, stimulate productive conversations among people of complementary interests and galvanize collaborations that will have a profound impact on patient health. It’s a melding of minds in the field of cancer research. Represented will be many of the different skill sets needed to bring a new drug to market – from the lab, through the commercialization process to the patient’s bedside.

Hear from global thought leaders in some of the most promising frontiers of research and treatment, including immunotherapy, antibodies and personalized medicine. Meet top academic researchers, renowned clinicians, and top business development professionals and scientists from the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and innovative biotechnology companies working in oncology.

In a global environment of budget cuts, including investment in scientific research, industry/academia collaborations are crucial to leverage resources and expertise. In its first nine years, the MCC Translational Oncology Symposium has shown great success in forging collaborations that are speeding drug development times and saving lives:

  • Collaboration between Pfizer and MCC led to a multisite international clinical trial of a sonic hedgehog inhibitor. One patient who was told she had just months to live is alive three years later and has undergone a bone marrow transplant after participating in the trial.
  • Collaboration between San Diego-based TargeGen, MCC and Standord University, which sped the development of a JAK2 inhibitor and led to the acquisition of TargeGen.

Symposium Organizers and Chairs

Symposium Organizers:

Scott Lippman, MD
UCSD Moores Cancer Center

Symposium Chair:

David Cheresh, PhD
Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Alliances, Distinguished Professor of Pathology
UCSD Moores Cancer Center

Ida Deichaite, PhD
Director, Industry Relations
UCSD Moores Cancer Center

Symposium Co-Chair:

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD
Director, Stem Cell Research Program, Associate Professor of Medicine
UCSD Moores Cancer Center

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