On February 28, 2019, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research hosted its inaugural Scientific Symposium in New York City. Approximately eighty participants gathered for the full day event, including grantees, partner organizations, scientific advisors, and other leaders in the field. The purpose of the meeting was to share results and foster collaboration in pursuit of innovative cancer research. According to Chief Executive Officer, Michele Cleary, PhD, this goal was achieved. “Today was not only about showcasing the work supported by the foundation but also about forming connections across the many disciplines that serve cancer research,” she said. “The energy in the room today was very motivating as we begin our third year of grant-making”.
The program comprised diverse presentations from early and mid-career scientists along with senior leaders of large multi-investigator projects. Keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Elledge, recent recipient of a Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge award co-sponsored by The Mark Foundation, described his lab’s work studying how cancer is driven by genetic mutations and chromosomal abnormalities as well as how known cancer gene mutations cause cancer in some organs but not in others. Dr. Ross Levine of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, remarked, “It was made clear today that The Mark Foundation truly is supporting important and exciting avenues of discovery and accelerating the pace of research that could be transformative for patients.”
In attendance was the organization’s founder, Alex Knaster. “It was an exciting day and very rewarding to hear about all the great science The Mark Foundation is supporting,” he said.