The IWMF is pleased to welcome two new members to its prestigious Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) chaired by Dr. Robert Kyle of the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Brian Van Ness from the University of Minnesota, USA, and Dr. Surinder Sahota from the University of Southampton, UK, were invited to participate because of their expertise in specific research areas identified by the recently approved IWMF-LLS Strategic Research Roadmap for WM.
Our Strategic Research Roadmap initiative will begin in October 2015 with a Request for Proposals from prominent cancer researchers. These proposals will be evaluated by members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, whose recommendations will be passed to the IWMF Research Committee and to the IWMF Board of Trustees for final selection and approval. The focus areas include cell signaling, genomics and epigenomics, immunotherapy, and the bone marrow and tumor microenvironment. Funding of proposals is expected to begin in mid-2016.
Dr. Surinder Sahota is a Reader in Immunogenetics at the University of Southampton, which is similar to the position of a full Professor in the US. He obtained his PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of London and was a lecturer at the University of California in Los Angeles. Following his return to the United Kingdom, he undertook cancer research at several medical schools, subsequently receiving his appointment to the Cancer Sciences Division, School of Medicine, at the University of Southampton. Dr. Sahota’s group has utilized genome-wide whole exome sequencing to examine mutations that define B-cell tumor origins and behavior and seeks to link those mutations with outcomes. His group is also interested in defining tumor-associated antigens and in targeted immunotherapy.
Dr. Brian Van Ness received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and is a Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. He served as Head of the Department and recently stepped down to assume the positions of co-Director of the Institute of Human Genetics and Director of a newly established Division of Medical Genomics. His lab concentrates on defining the genetic dysregulation that contributes to lymphoid malignancies and is working with national and international clinical groups to correlate genetic defects with disease outcome and response to therapies. Dr. Van Ness was a speaker at the 2009 and 2012 IWMF Educational Forums.