Skip to main content

Hereditary Cancers

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
9:00 am
Vanderbilt University Student Life Center


Poster Deadline: April 29, 2024
Registration Deadline: May 6, 2024



VICC Annual Scientific Retreat

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) 25th Annual Scientific Retreat will be held on May 21, 2024 in the Student Life Center with national and international experts presenting on Hereditary Cancers. The VICC retreat has a long tradition of providing opportunities for collaborative interactions and discussions between investigators, community partners, students, and trainees. We look forward to your attendance this year, and ask that you check back to this webpage for more updates soon!

Featured Speakers:

Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS

(UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center)

is the President of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of California, San Francisco and Senior Vice President for clinical services, UCSF Health. Dr. Ashworth was a key member of the team that discovered the BRCA2 gene in 1995, which is linked to an increased risk of breast, ovarian and other cancers. In 2005, his lab identified a way to exploit genetic weaknesses (using synthetic lethality) in cancer cells with mutated BRCA1 or 2 genes, leading to a new approach to cancer treatment, PARP inhibition. Four different PARP inhibitors have now been approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer based on this observation, which was named by Nature in the top 20 discoveries in cancer in the 21st century. He continues to develop new treatments for cancer using genetic principles.

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH

(Dana Farber Cancer Institute)

is the Susan F. Smith Chair and Chief of the Division of Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She conducts research in clinical cancer genetics, with a special focus in the genetics of breast cancer. Dr. Garber is also a leader in research into the characteristics and treatment of triple negative breast cancer, the most common form in women with BRCA1 mutations and an expert in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. Her translational research focuses on the evaluation of novel agents targeting DNA repair defects in breast cancer, including PARP inhibitors for treatment and prevention of breast cancer and other BRCA-associated cancers, and the study of other agents for reduction of breast cancer risk.

Padma Sheila Rajagopal

(National Institute of Health, Cancer Data Science Laboratory)

is a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship and the American Society of Clinical Oncology / Breast Cancer Research Foundation Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award for her research on integrating germline variants through a predicted transcriptome model of the breast and comparing prognostication of outcomes in breast cancer to the tumor transcriptome. She joined the Cancer Data Science Laboratory as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in 2021. Dr. Rajagopal’s laboratory currently investigates how genomic and transcriptomic interactions between germline variants / inherited cancer syndromes and somatic development in tumors can improve clinical prediction and prognostication in patients with cancer.

Bert Vogelstein, MD

(Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins)

is the Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology, An Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a Director of the Ludwig Institute and Lustgarten Dedicated Laboratory for Pancreatic Cancer Research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Vogelstein and his colleagues discovered the genetic basis of human colorectal tumors. In the process, they discovered many of the genes, pathways, and concepts that are the foundation of modern cancer research. His group's basic scientific studies have been distinguished by a focus on practical applications of the knowledge gained from their work. For example, Vogelstein and his colleagues not only participated in the discovery of the genetic bases for hereditary colorectal cancer predisposition syndromes in the 90's, but a more recently developed an effective form of therapy for one such syndrome that is based on understanding of its genetic defect. From a broader perspective, his group initiated a new chapter in diagnostics in 1992 when they demonstrated that somatically acquired driver gene mutations can be used as biomarkers for cancer. This approach is now often referred to as "liquid biopsies". His group currently focuses on developing new approaches to detect cancers earlier as well as developing novel immunotherapeutic agents that can combat cancer if it is not detected early enough.