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The Wilmot Cancer Institute Scientific Symposium aims to bring scientists together, working in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research, to share exciting findings, new projects, and fantastic success stories.

The 2023 symposium will feature keynote speaker Ned Sharpless, MD, former Director of the National Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Sharpless was appointed acting director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019 and served as director of the National Cancer Institute from 2017-2022.

The symposium program will also include a presentation of the annual Davey Award, plenary talks by Wilmot members, trainee research presentations, and a scientific poster competition. 

See the full agenda below. 

7:30 am 

Symposium Registration Opens – Continental Breakfast 

8:00 am 

Hucky Land, PhD & Ruth O’Regan, MD 

Welcome and Introduction 

8:05 am 

Jonathan Friedberg, MD, Director of Wilmot Cancer Institute 

2023 Wilmot Cancer Institute Strategic Plan Overview & Discussion 

Clinical Research 

9:05 am 

Plenary Talk 

Anna Weiss, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery (Oncology) 

The Quest to Eliminate Axillary Lymph Node Dissection- The Final Frontier 

9:30 am 

Abstract Winner 

Adam Visca, Medical Student, UR School of Medicine and Dentistry 

Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality Among Patients Undergoing Cancer Treatments 

Cancer Prevention and Control Program 

9:45 am 

Plenary Talk 

Stephen Cook, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Pediatrics 

“Obesity Treatment in Families: Implication for Innovations in Cancer” 

10:10 am 

Abstract Winner 

Nikesha Gilmore, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery (Cancer Control) 

Associations of Medical Mistrust with Therapeutic Alliance and Patient-centered Communication in Cancer Care in Black and White Older Patients Receiving Cancer Treatment 

10:25 am: Morning Break 

10:35 am 

Shared Resources 

John Ashton, PhD, Director of Wilmot Shared Resources 

Overview of Wilmot Shared Resources with a focus on new Capabilities 

10:45 am  

COE Abstract Winner 

Annalynn Williams, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery (Cancer Control) 

Barriers and Facilitators to Research Engagement of Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer 

Keynote Presentation  

11:00 am 

Ned Sharpless, MD, Former NCI Director, Professor of Cancer Policy and Innovation, UNC School of Medicine 

Modulating the Cell Cycle to Manage DNA Damage and Aging 

12:00 pm: Lunch and Poster Session 

Davey Award Presentation  

2:30 pm 

2023 Davey Award Lecture: Karen Mustian, PhD, MPH, Professor in the Department of Surgery (Cancer Control) 

Cancer Microenvironment Program 

3:30 pm 

Abstract Winner 

Allison Ryan, PhD Candidate, Immunology, Microbiology and Virology  

Driving CAR T Cells to Solid Tumors 

3:45 pm 

Plenary Talk 

Marvin Doyley, PhD, Wilson Professor of Electronic Imaging and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Shear Wave Elastography Can Stratify Rectal Cancer Response to Short-course Radiation Therapy 

Genetics, Epigenetics, and Metabolism  

4:10 pm 

Abstract Winner 

Juliana Cazarin de Menezes, Postdoctoral Researcher, Biomedical Genetics 

The Oncogene MYC as a Driver of Circadian Clock Disruption and Dedifferentiation in the Lung: Implications in Early Lung Carcinogenesis 

4:25 pm 

Plenary Talk 

Darren Carpizo, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery (Oncology) 

Targeting Netrin-1 in pancreatic cancer: a highjacked embryonic program offers a therapeutic vulnerability 

4:50 pm 

Ruth O’Regan, MD, and Carla Casulo, MD – Five poster winners announced  




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