2005 Scholar Retreat – Summary

Senior Investigators
David E. Fisher, MD, Ph.D., Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Scott Lowe, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Charles L. Sawyers, MD, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Charles Sherr, MD, Ph.D., St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Craig Thompson, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2002 Forbeck Scholars
Alison A. Bertuch, MD, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Jan Karlseder, Ph.D., The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA
Masashi Narita, MD, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

2003 Forbeck Scholars
James F Amatruda, MD, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Christopher Bakkenist, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Elsa Flores, Ph.D., University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Norman Sharpless, MD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

2004 Forbeck Scholars
Edward Attiyeh, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Nabeel Bardeesy, Ph.D., Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Anthony G. Letai, MD, Ph.D., Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
W. Kimryn Rathmell, MD, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

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. In addition, 5 senior cancer researchers attended, both to participate scientifically, and to offer mentorship advice. David Fisher, a prior Scholar himself and member of the Forbeck Foundation scientific advisory committee, served as scientific chair of the Symposium.

By all measures, this new meeting was a resounding success. Scientific presentations represented a stunning cross-section of hot topics in cancer research. They differed from the Hilton Head Symposia in the diversity of topics, rather than the highly concentrated themes typical of the Hilton Head meetings. The quality of science presented, as well as the intensity of the discussion was virtually indistinguishable from the meetings attended by senior researchers. The presented research spanned fundamental mechanisms of cell growth and survival, to identification of novel oncogenes in human cancers. The combination of scientific as well as clinical expertise of the participants permitted an especially fertile testing ground for discussions of how to apply basic discoveries to the cancer clinic. Adding further to the value of Junior Symposium were the opportunities for mentoring and advising, including informal discussions of how to deal with prestigious journal editors, to grant-writing.

Finally, the Junior Symposium brought together an outstanding cohort of rising stars in cancer research, unified as Forbeck awardees, and representing a prestigious grouping of university Assistant Professors across broad geographical settings. Personal and scientific relationships among the Forbeck Scholars suggest that this is a remarkable “club” of gifted young cancer scientists. The decision to nurture this group has fortified the Forbeck legacy through focusing on those who represent the future of cancer research.