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News and Events

NCI Emerging Technologies Seminar Series

NCI has established a new seminar series to highlight novel technologies being supported through NCI awards that could transform cancer research and clinical care. The seminar occurs at the end of every month on a Tuesday at 2:00pm Eastern Time. Register through the Event Registration Site.

Kai Tan, Ph.D.Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Kai Tan, Ph.D., Director, Center for Single Cell Biology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & Professor, Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
Title: Finding neighborhoods in the land of spatial omics

During this seminar, Dr. Tan will describe his recently developed CytoCommunity algorithm for the growing field of single-cell “spatial -omics” which is designed to identify tissue cellular neighborhoods that can be applied in either an unsupervised or supervised fashion. CytoCommunity represents a powerful and scalable method for de novo identification of condition-specific cellular clusters in tissue to facilitate interpretation of their function and discovery of cell-cell communications within a tissue microenvironment.

Yang Claire Zeng, M.D., Ph.D.Tuesday, May 21st, 2024, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Yang Claire Zeng, M.D., Ph.D., Wyss Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Title: DNA origami vaccine (DoriVac) for cancer and infectious diseases

During this seminar, Dr. Zeng will describe a DNA origami vaccine platform called DoriVac. The approach allows delivery of both the antigen and the adjuvant on the same particle, allowing them to work together to create a very strong and selective immune response, as well as promoting long-term memory to prevent cancer from returning. Dr. Zeng will describe validation of the approach for melanoma and colon carcinoma, and discuss other cancers being explored.

Dana Pe’er, Ph.D.Tuesday, June 25th 2024, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Dana Pe’er, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Title: TBD

During this seminar, Dr. Pe’er will describe new bioinformatics tools to explore the complex tumor microenvironment as part of the Cancer Moonshot Human Tumor Atlas Network.

Register through the Event Registration Site. For any questions, please contact Kelly Crotty ( If you are an individual with a disability who needs reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, please contact the organizers at least five business days before the event so that we can discuss your accommodation request.

Past Seminars

David Mooney, Ph.D.Tuesday, March 19th, 2024, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: David Mooney, Ph.D., School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wyss Institute, Harvard University
Moderator: Claudia Fischbach, Ph.D., Cornell University

Viscoelasticity and Cancer

During this seminar, Dr. Mooney described new biomaterial technologies developed in his lab to manipulate cell function, understand how cells sense their physical environment, and recruit and re-educate the immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Raymond Moellering, Ph.D.Tuesday, February 20th, 2024, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Raymond Moellering, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Moderator: Jordan Meier, Ph.D., NCI's Center for Cancer Research

Proximity Barcoding Chemoproteomic Platforms to Map and Manipulate Oncogenic Signaling

At this seminar, Dr. Moellering presented novel chemical probes and proteomic technologies developed in his lab to expose and exploit signaling mechanisms in cancer and other diseases.

Peggi Angel, Ph.D.Tuesday, January 16th, 2024, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Peggi Angel, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina
Moderator: Kristin Burnum-Johnson, Ph.D., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Uncovering new predictive markers in cancer research with novel tools that define the molecular pathology of the extracellular microenvironment

In this seminar, Dr. Angel described how her lab has developed novel tools and workflows to target the extracellular microenvironment from clinically archived tissues. She discussed tool development and work to understand how the extracellular proteome, including post translational modifications, contributes to cancer progression.

Kristen Naegle, Ph.D.Tuesday, October 24th, 2023, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Kristen Naegle, Ph.D., University of Virginia
Moderator: Michael Yaffe, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Molecular and computational tools to understand tyrosine phosphorylation in cancer

The Naegle lab uses data-driven approaches to predict and experimental approaches to test the regulation and function of tyorsine phosphorylation in complex networks. In this talk, Dr. Naegle described novel chemical methods and computational tools developed in her lab to support this work with a focus on their use in cancer research.

Ji-Xin Cheng, Ph.D.Tuesday, September 26th, 2023, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Ji-Xin Cheng, Ph.D., Boston University Photonics Center
Moderator: Bing Xu, Ph.D., Brandeis University

Bond-selective imaging to unveil hidden signatures in cancers

During this seminar, Dr. Cheng discussed novel imaging technologies developed in his lab - including wide-field mid-infrared photothermal (MIP) imaging and high-content hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (h2SRS) imaging modalities - to map proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids, cholesterol, and nucleic acids in single cancer cells and enable discovery-driven research towards precision diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.

Muneer Hasham, Ph.D.Tuesday, August 15th, 2023, 2-3pm ET
Speaker: Muneer Hasham, Ph.D., The Jackson Laboratory
Moderator: Carol Bult, Ph.D., The Jackson Laboratory

Using genetically diverse mouse models for basic cancer research

In this seminar, Dr. Hasham described a strategy developed in his lab to produce genetically diverse mouse models to study human xenografts, including difficult-to-xenograft tumors, that could allow us to understand the contribution of genetic diversity in the tumor microenvironment to the development of cancers.

Itai Yanai, Ph.D.Tuesday, July 18th, 2023, 2 – 3pm ET
Speaker: Itai Yanai, Ph.D., New York University School of Medicine
Moderator: Josh Campbell, Ph.D., Boston University

Mapping cellular plasticity in tumor progression and drug resistance

Dr. Yanai talked about new informatics tools for inferring cell state tumor microenvironment maps by integrating data from single-cell and spatial transcriptomics studies.

Ralph Weissleder, M.D, Ph.D.Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, 2 – 3pm ET
Speaker: Ralph Weissleder, M.D, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Moderator: Minetta Liu, M.D.

Multiplexed EV analysis for early cancer detection

Dr. Weissleder talked about a novel method for single extracellular vesicle analysis which allows multiplexing (MASEV). This has generated new insight into EV biology and clinical applications.

Pallavi Tiwari, Ph.D.Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023, 2 – 3pm ET
Speaker: Pallavi Tiwari, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison
Moderator: Rajan Jain, M.D., NYU Langone Health

Artificial Intelligence and Computational Imaging: Opportunities for Precision Medicine

At this seminar, Dr. Tiwari focused on her lab’s recent efforts in developing machine learning techniques to capture insights into the underlying tumor biology as observed across non-invasive imaging, histopathology, and omics data. She focused on applications of this work for predicting disease outcome, recurrence, progression and response to therapy specifically in the context of brain tumors. She also discussed current efforts in developing new image-based features for post-treatment evaluation and predicting response to chemo-radiation treatment. Dr. Tiwari concluded her talk with a discussion of some of the translational aspects of her work from a clinical perspective.

Shana Kelley, Ph.D.Tuesday, April 18th 2 - 3pm ET
Speaker: Shana Kelley, Ph.D., Northwestern University
Moderator: David Barbie, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Finding rare cells for therapeutic applications

At this seminar, Dr. Kelley presented a rare cell profiling technology that allows ultra high throughput processing and separation of cell mixtures based on protein expression. Rare tumor-reactive immune cells can be isolated from blood and dissociated tumors to enable the development of cell therapies with enhanced potencies.

Chia-Lin Wei, Ph.D.Tuesday, March 28th 2 - 3pm ET
Speaker: Chia-Lin Wei, Ph.D., Jackson Laboratory
Moderator: Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, M.D., Ph.D., (Cancer Metastasis Lab) University College London

Advancing Genomic Technologies for Insights into Extrachromosomal Circular DNA (ecDNA) Structures and Function

ecDNA, prevalent in primary cancers, is associated with aggressive tumor phenotype and poor patient outcome. Recent innovation in genomic technologies have been contributed in the understanding of its diversity and roles in promoting oncogenesis. We discussed these developments and how these approaches can be used to study cancer genome structural variation, oncogenic regulation, and intratumoral heterogeneity.

David Hanauer, M.D., M.S.Tuesday, February 21st 2 - 3pm ET
Speaker: David Hanauer, M.D., M.S., University of Michigan
Moderator: Dana Rollison, Ph.D., Moffitt Cancer Center

EMERSE: an easy-to-use, self-service search engine and chart review tool for EHR notes

At this seminar, Dr. Hanauer described EMERSE - the Electronic Medical Record Search Engine. EMERSE is a tool designed to help non-technical researchers access and make sense of free text (unstructured) notes from electronic health records (EHRs). It is fast and powerful and can help with a wide range of clinical research tasks including cohort identification, eligibility determination, data abstraction, and more.

Ning (Jenny) Jiang, Ph.D.Wednesday, January 25th 2 - 3pm ET
Speaker: Ning (Jenny) Jiang, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Moderator: Michelle Krogsgaard, Ph.D., NYU School of Medicine

High-throughput and High-dimensional Single T cell Profiling

At this seminar, Dr. Jiang discussed a newly developed technology on linking T cell antigen specificity to TCR sequences, gene expression, and phenotyping at a single cell level and in a high-throughput manner.

Zeynep Gümüş, Ph.D.Thursday, November 17th 12 - 1pm ET
Speaker: Zeynep Gümüş, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
Moderator: Rachel Karchin, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Development of a Visualization Approach to Enhance Cancer Moonshot Data

This was a joint seminar with the Cancer Moonshot Seminar Series and the DataViz + Cancer program. At this seminar, Dr. Gümüş talked about a user-friendly tool her group is developing to enable researchers of all computational skill levels to visually analyze and explore immune monitoring assay results.

Francisco (Paco) Robles, Ph.D.Tuesday, October 18th 2 – 3pm ET
Speaker: Francisco (Paco) Robles, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University
Moderator: Milind Rajadhyasksha, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Simple and low-cost optical imaging tools for label-free molecular imaging and 3D microscopy and their application in biomedicine.

At this seminar, Dr. Robles discusses the work his team is leading to advance novel molecular and 3D optical imaging methods to overcome current clinical limitations in biomedicine ranging from hematology to cancer detection.

Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D.Tuesday, September 20th 2 – 3pm ET
Speaker: Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D., University of California – Los Angeles
Moderator: Jamie Spangler, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Lab on a particle technology for sorting viable single immune cells based on their function.

At this seminar, Dr. Di Carlo discusses the “lab on a particle” technology being developed in his lab to enable scalable selection of functional immune cells, driving next-generation cancer immunotherapeutic design.

Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, Ph.D.Tuesday, August 23rd 2 – 3pm ET
Speaker: Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Moderator: Anil Sood, M.D., MD Anderson Cancer Center

Placing mass spectrometry in the hands of medical professionals to help guide treatment decisions

At this seminar, Dr. Eberlin discusses a new technology called MasSpec Pen that can assess molecular predictors of disease state from tissue samples. She talks about how this tool can be used clinically for precision medicine-guided surgical resection.

Wendell Lim, Ph.D.Tuesday, July 26th 2 – 3pm EST
Speaker: Wendell Lim, Ph.D., University of California – San Francisco
Moderator: Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D., University of California – Los Angeles

Rethinking cancer targeting strategies: new synthetic sensors and circuits in the era of smart cell therapeutics

At this seminar, Dr. Lim discusses new methods in cancer -omics and synthetic biology that can lead to nuanced paradigms of tumor recognition. These immuno oncology strategies could more effectively address the complex challenges of treating cancer.