UChicago Medicine to host regional Cancer Moonshot Summit

The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center has been chosen to co-host a regional conference to rally a critical mass of minds around the topic of cancer, concurrent to Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington on Wednesday.

UChicago Medicine will represent Region 5 — covering Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin — co-hosting the event with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network during a half-day program that will feature a live-stream address from Biden. The agenda also includes a welcome from Kathleen Falk, DHHS's Region 5 director, as well as breakout sessions to encourage brainstorming and cooperation.

"We are honored that the Department of Health and Human Services selected us as one of 10 regional sites across the country to facilitate discussions on how the entire cancer community can work together to increase the rate of discovery," said Michelle Le Beau, PhD, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We join our colleagues and other stakeholders across the country as we break down silos and foster innovation."

The Cancer Moonshot Summit, requested by Biden, is aimed at encouraging action and collaboration in conjunction with the namesake national initiative that seeks to double the rate of progress in cancer research over the next five years. The Moonshot Summit will be the first time researchers, oncologists, clinicians, philanthropists, data and technology experts, advocacy groups, and patients will convene on the same day under one national charge to brainstorm around prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Hundreds of organizations are expected to participate at local venues across the country Wednesday.

"The Moonshot cannot be achieved by one person, one organization, one discipline, or even one collective approach," Biden said. "Solving the complexities of cancer will require the formation of new alliances to defy the bounds of innovation and accelerate the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and? — ultimately? –? a cure. It's going to require millions of Americans speaking up and contributing what they're able. That's what the Cancer Moonshot Summit is all about."

In January, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum to establish a federal task force to end cancer as it is known. Led by the vice president, the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force comprises leaders from every federal agency that has a part to play in addressing cancer. The administration also announced a $1 billion initiative to jumpstart the Cancer Moonshot.

Biden's focus on finding cancer breakthroughs was sharpened when he lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015. That interest also brought Biden to UChicago in early June to attend the public launch of the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), heralding a new era of data sharing for cancer research. Housed at UChicago, the GDC is a National Cancer Institute-supported system that centralizes, standardizes and harmonizes genomic and clinical data and addresses data sharing, a major Moonshot priority area.

The public is invited to watch the Summit in Washington online at whitehouse.gov/cancermoonshot and to be a part of the conversation on Twitter using #CanServe.

UChicago Cancer Moonshot Summit

When: 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Where: Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery

900 E. 57th St., Chicago


1 p.m. Check-In and Lunch

1:30 Welcome

Kenneth Polonsky, MD, dean and executive vice president for medical affairs, UChicago Medicine

1:35 Cancer Moonshot Overview: National Efforts

Michelle Le Beau, PhD, director of UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

2 The Genomic Data Commons

Robert Grossman, PhD, director of UChicago Center for Data Intensive Science

2:05 Getting Involved in the Moonshot

Kathleen Falk, Region 5 director, Department of Health and Human Services

2:15 Breakout Sessions

  • Putting Patients at the Center of Access and Care
  • Disparities in Cancer Care
  • Pediatric Cancer
  • Supporting Preventative Health Behaviors
  • Technical Challenges to Unleashing the Power of Big Data
  • Applying Big Data to Cancer Care
  • Integrating Advances in Cancer Treatment into Community Care
  • Participation in Clinical Research
  • Incentivizing Breakthrough Research Discoveries

3:15 Break

3:30 Breakout-Session Reports and Discussion

Kathy Goss, PhD, director for strategic partnerships, Comprehensive Cancer Center

4:30 Livestream of Vice President Biden's Address

5 Closing Remarks


About the University of Chicago Medicine

The University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. It comprises the Pritzker School of Medicine, a top 10 medical school in the nation; the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division; and the University of Chicago Medical Center, which opened the Center for Care and Discovery, a $700 million specialty medical facility. It also is home to the National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Twelve Nobel Prize winners in physiology or medicine have been affiliated with the University of Chicago Medicine.

Media Contact

John Easton
[email protected]


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