2015 Scholar Retreat – Summary

October 1, 2015 brought another phenomenal group of energetic and accomplished young investigators together at the Geneva National Golf Course for the 2015 Forbeck Scholar Retreat. It was my privilege to chair this year’s retreat, an annual pilgrimage that marked the first 5 years of my own faculty career path, and which I have to credit with shaping my career as a physician scientist. I was incredibly honored to chair this meeting.

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2014 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The meeting began with a talk by the keynote speaker, David Cheresh, Ph.D., Vice Chairman of Pathology, University of California, San Diego that described his fascinating journey from studies of antibodies to the discovery that defined the role of integrin in angiogenesis, including a detour through a landmark Supreme Court case. In the early 1990’s, David had made the seminal discovery that angiogenesis could be inhibited by blocking surface receptor on endothelial cells. He tested RGD peptides supplied by Merck for their anti-angiogenic effects in tumor models. Integra, a company that co-owned five patients (with the Burnham Institute) to variants of RGD peptides, sued Merck for infringement of patent rights. The suit was ultimately reviewed by the Supreme Court. The Court decided in favor of Merck/Cheresh and held that “the use of patented compounds in preclinical studies is protected ... as long as there is a reasonable basis for believing that the experiment will produce ‘the type of information that are relevant to an IND and NDA.’” Cheresh gave a mesmerizing first person account of the scientific and personal context of this important Supreme Court case that continues to shape investigational use of patented reagents in research. As a life lesson, he emphasized the need to doggedly pursue those studies that are of personal importance, irrespective of the obstacles.

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2013 Scholar Retreat - Summary

The meeting began on Thursday evening with cocktails and dinner followed by a keynote address by Keith Yamamoto (UCSF, San Francisco) which provided an expansive view of science, science practice, and science policy. Keith made seminal discoveries in steroid hormone receptor- induced transcription and has been honored with numerous awards including membership in the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. He is also Dean and Vice Chancellor at UCSF Medical School, an Obama Advisor and consultant to the NIH. Keith drew from these experiences to describe how science is changing to integrate biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, and public health. He presented a changing science practice in which each of these areas are not discrete disciplines, but rather is simultaneously incorporated into the discovery and educational processes.

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2012 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The 8th annual Scholar Retreat featured presentations by Scholars and Mentors in each of the topics of the four most recent annual Conferences: the Biology and Treatment of Primary Brain Tumors, Immunotherapy and Breaking Tolerance, Cancer Genomics, and Epigenetics. One extremely heartening theme that was common to all of these sessions was that it was clear that our ability to study human tumors directly has increased vastly. No longer is it necessary to study only models and cells that are remote approximations of patients’ own tumors. Now the trip between patient tumor, hypothesis generation and testing in the laboratory, and back to the patient is occurring nearly continuously, a vast improvement in recent years.

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2011 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The 7th annual Forbeck Scholar retreat was held in Lake Geneva Wisconsin from September 15-18th. The meeting was a great mix of scholars honored with the award at the Hilton Head meetings from years 2007-2010 and mentors from various fields of cancer. Ensuring a lively discussion, both scholars and mentors adhered to the 5 slide format, allowing free flowing discussion, less formality, and a true think tank environment.

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2010 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The 6th annual Forbeck Scholar retreat took place from September 16th to 19th in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and was an unqualified success. The meeting was attended by scholars honored with the award at the Hilton Head meetings from the years 2006-2009. Meeting participants adhered to the familiar 5-slide-rule, ensuring a lively give-and-take between the presenters and the audience.

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2009 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The 5th scholar retreat took place from September 17th to 20th in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and was another spectacular success. The meeting was attended by scholars honored with the award in the years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The unfortunate and unanticipated lack of participation by the RNAi class of 2006 was compensated by the enthusiastic participation and wonderfully lively discussions by the scholars of the other years. Meeting guidelines followed the famous 5-slide-rule established in the Hilton Head meetings, which led to vigorous scientific exchange and in depth discussion of numerous cancer related topics.

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2008 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The 2008 Scholars’ Retreat was held in September 2008 at Lake Geneva, representing the 4th year since the birth of this program. The event was a smashing success. The Retreat is an annual meeting which is attended by the most current 4 years of Forbeck Scholars in addition to a panel of faculty mentors. The meeting follows the Forbeck Forum model of up to 5 slides maximum, with extensive scientific exchange and discussion. However there are several important distinctions of this meeting, relative to the Forum, distinctions which significantly impact the experience for the scholars.

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2007 Scholar Retreat – Summary

For the third year the Forbeck Foundation’s Scholar Board organized a superb meeting for the Forbeck Scholar awardees at George Williams College in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Members of the Scholar Board worked tirelessly to ensure that the participants had everything they needed for a successful meeting. The efforts of the Scholar Board were matched by the enthusiasm of both senior scientists and scholars attending the Retreat.

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2006 Scholar Retreat – Summary

For the second year running the Forbeck Foundation’s Junior Board organized a superb meeting for the Forbeck Scholar awardees. The venue for the meeting was, once again, George Williams College, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Jamie Forbeck and members of the Junior Board worked tirelessly to ensure that the participants had everything they needed for a successful meeting. The efforts of the Junior Board were matched by the enthusiasm of both the senior scientists and the scholars attending the Forum.

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2005 Scholar Retreat – Summary

The first Junior Forbeck Cancer Research Symposium was held at Williams College, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in September 2005. The meeting represented the remarkable organizational and fundraising accomplishments of the Forbeck Foundation’s Junior Board, spearheaded largely by Jamie Forbeck. Attendees at the meeting were previous Forbeck Scholar awardees, a group of young cancer researchers in training who had been competitively selected to attend one of the Hilton Head Forbeck Symposia within the previous 4 years.

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