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Cancer Research Day is Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021

All Penn State faculty, staff, trainees and students interested in cancer research careers are invited to attend the fourth annual Cancer Research Day online conference, taking place Saturday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Agenda coming soon.

Register here

Event overview

About Cancer Research Day

The annual Cancer Research Day provides attendees with the opportunity to learn from established research professionals with a variety of backgrounds who can support trainees as they showcase their own research.

Through keynote speakers, oral presentations and poster sessions, event organizers hope faculty, trainees and students are inspired to grow and expand their cancer research careers.

Those invited to attend include:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Residents and fellows
  • Postdoctoral scholars
  • Graduate students
  • Medical students
  • Undergraduate students

Featured speakers

  • Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD
    Director
    Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
    Cedars-Sinai

    Professional photo of Dr. Dan Theodorescu
    Dr. Dan Theodorescu is director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and overall leader of the Cedars-Sinai Cancer enterprise in California named Cedars-Sinai CANCER. Cedars-Sinai CANCER has been a top ten ranked cancer program in the US according to US News and World Report since 2020. From 2010 until 2018, he was director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and a distinguished university professor.

    Dr. Theodorescu is internationally known for his work on the molecular mechanisms driving bladder cancer and tools that determine drug response as well as discovery of new drugs for bladder and other cancer types. His work includes the discovery of genes that regulate tumor growth and metastasis and novel biomarkers and concepts for precision therapeutic approaches such as the COXEN principle, that are currently being tested in national (SWOG 1314) clinical trials. He also conceptualized the approach and then led the discovery and development of a first in class RalGTPase inhibitor as a new therapeutic in cancer. This drug was awarded a US patent and is in commercial development. Most recently, he identified approaches that define effective combination immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors and a new bladder cancer subtype, called C3, whose presence in tumors predicts immunotherapy response.

    Dr. Theodorescu is a founding co-editor in chief of “Bladder Cancer”, the first journal focused on this disease and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), Association of American Physicians (AAP), the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGUS), the American Surgical Association (ASA) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

  • Keith Wonnacott, PhD
    Executive Director
    Regulatory Affairs
    Pfizer Inc.

    A headshot of Keith Wonnacott, PhDKeith Wonnacott received his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Penn State College of Medicine in 2001. Since then, he has worked in the field of cell and gene therapies as a regulatory scientist. He currently works at Pfizer as an executive director of regulatory affairs in the rare diseases unit. At Pfizer, Wonnacott leads regulatory efforts to aid the clinical development of AAV-based gene therapies. His work includes both developing regulatory strategy and influencing regulatory policy related to cell and gene therapy. He currently serves as the chair of the regulatory affairs committee for the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and serves on a variety of other trade association committees working on gene therapy policy such as ARM, PhRMA, BIO, EuropaBIO and EFPIA.

    Wonnacott made the move to Pfizer after spending three years with Novartis Pharmaceuticals as a director of regulatory affairs in the cell and gene therapy group. At Novartis Pharmaceuticals, he advised on regulatory strategy and led the team responsible for developing the CMC module for the Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) BLA, which became the first ever FDA approved gene therapy product in 2017. Prior to working at Novartis, Wonnacott was the chief of the cellular therapies branch at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    His branch was responsible for the CMC review for all cellular therapies including stem cells, allogeneic pancreatic islets, immunotherapies, cancer vaccines, xenotransplantation products and tissue engineered products. Wonnacott has published several articles and book chapters on the regulation of advanced therapies.

    Wonnacott completed his bachelor’s degree in microbiology at Brigham Young University in 1996. Outside of work, Dr. Wonnacott is the proud father of five children and recently became a grandfather. He loves to hike, play soccer and try new recipes for spicy foods.

Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD
Director
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
Cedars-Sinai

Professional photo of Dr. Dan Theodorescu
Dr. Dan Theodorescu is director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and overall leader of the Cedars-Sinai Cancer enterprise in California named Cedars-Sinai CANCER. Cedars-Sinai CANCER has been a top ten ranked cancer program in the US according to US News and World Report since 2020. From 2010 until 2018, he was director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and a distinguished university professor.

Dr. Theodorescu is internationally known for his work on the molecular mechanisms driving bladder cancer and tools that determine drug response as well as discovery of new drugs for bladder and other cancer types. His work includes the discovery of genes that regulate tumor growth and metastasis and novel biomarkers and concepts for precision therapeutic approaches such as the COXEN principle, that are currently being tested in national (SWOG 1314) clinical trials. He also conceptualized the approach and then led the discovery and development of a first in class RalGTPase inhibitor as a new therapeutic in cancer. This drug was awarded a US patent and is in commercial development. Most recently, he identified approaches that define effective combination immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors and a new bladder cancer subtype, called C3, whose presence in tumors predicts immunotherapy response.

Dr. Theodorescu is a founding co-editor in chief of “Bladder Cancer”, the first journal focused on this disease and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), Association of American Physicians (AAP), the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGUS), the American Surgical Association (ASA) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Keith Wonnacott, PhD
Executive Director
Regulatory Affairs
Pfizer Inc.

A headshot of Keith Wonnacott, PhDKeith Wonnacott received his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Penn State College of Medicine in 2001. Since then, he has worked in the field of cell and gene therapies as a regulatory scientist. He currently works at Pfizer as an executive director of regulatory affairs in the rare diseases unit. At Pfizer, Wonnacott leads regulatory efforts to aid the clinical development of AAV-based gene therapies. His work includes both developing regulatory strategy and influencing regulatory policy related to cell and gene therapy. He currently serves as the chair of the regulatory affairs committee for the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and serves on a variety of other trade association committees working on gene therapy policy such as ARM, PhRMA, BIO, EuropaBIO and EFPIA.

Wonnacott made the move to Pfizer after spending three years with Novartis Pharmaceuticals as a director of regulatory affairs in the cell and gene therapy group. At Novartis Pharmaceuticals, he advised on regulatory strategy and led the team responsible for developing the CMC module for the Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) BLA, which became the first ever FDA approved gene therapy product in 2017. Prior to working at Novartis, Wonnacott was the chief of the cellular therapies branch at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

His branch was responsible for the CMC review for all cellular therapies including stem cells, allogeneic pancreatic islets, immunotherapies, cancer vaccines, xenotransplantation products and tissue engineered products. Wonnacott has published several articles and book chapters on the regulation of advanced therapies.

Wonnacott completed his bachelor’s degree in microbiology at Brigham Young University in 1996. Outside of work, Dr. Wonnacott is the proud father of five children and recently became a grandfather. He loves to hike, play soccer and try new recipes for spicy foods.

Contact

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For more information

With questions about the event, contact Tonya Krushinsky:

Click here to register