Back to Top Skip to main content

USU Genetics Researchers Receive National Award for Cancer Genome Work

Photos of two men in suits Uniformed Services University faculty Dr. Hai Hu (left) and Dr. Matthew Wilkerson (right) were among the members of The Cancer Genome Atlas team who received awards from the AACR for their work sequencing the cancer genome. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

Two USU scientists have been lauded by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for their efforts to create a detailed catalog of genomic change associated with specific types of cancer and pan-cancer studies.

Dr. Matthew Wilkerson, the Data Science Core director of USU’s Center for Precision Medicine in Military Medical Education and Research, research associate professor of Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics, and a USU contract employee of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), was among the only 129 selected from approximately 1,000 members of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) team honored with the AACR’s Team Science Award during the association’s virtual annual meeting, June 22-24.  The award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary team of researchers for their innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or may advance fundamental knowledge of cancer, or a team that has applied existing knowledge to advancing the detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of cancer.

“I am honored to be selected as a recipient of the 2020 Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research for my efforts in The Cancer Genome Atlas,” Wilkerson said. “As part of the TCGA, I was co-chair for the pheochromocytoma study and performed computational genomics analysis for a variety of other tumor types.  Our teamwork resulted in world-class discoveries into the molecular basis of cancer.  In particular, my genome data analysis methods identified new subtypes of cancer based on molecular profiles – thus characterizing new molecular pathology and paving the way for more precise tumor diagnosis.  Our results are very exciting to me because they are clinically-relevant and lead to future patient benefit.”

In addition to Wilkerson, Dr. Hai Hu, a research associate professor in USU’s Department of Surgery, council member for the John P. Murtha Cancer Center and chief scientific officer for the Chan Soon-Chiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber in Windber, Pennsylvania, was also among the award recipients.

“I am honored to be recognized as one of the selected awardees from TCGA for the AACR 2020 Team Science Award. We became part of the TCGA first as a tissue source site for the breast cancer study, for which the Clinical Breast Care Project (CBCP) contributed 10% of the samples exclaimed of the highest quality,” said Hu. “At the same time, we participated in data analysis and emerged as the leader for TCGA clinical data analysis, publishing important papers in top journals and ultimately developed the TCGA Clinical Data Resource published in Cell. For these studies, Mr. Jianfang Liu, our Senior Statistical Analyst, shouldered most of the data analysis responsibilities, working intelligently and diligently to derive outstanding statistical results. In this whole course, Dr. Craig D. Shriver, CBCP principal investigator and MCCRP director, played a pivotal leadership role in making the organizational decision to join TCGA, giving me full freedom and unwavering support which enabled us to unveil the values of the TCGA clinical data.”

The Cancer Genome Atlas Project began in 2006 as a joint effort between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Researchers with diverse backgrounds from a number of institutions throughout the nation were brought together to create the cancer genomic catalog. Since then, TCGA has expanded its research to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of numerous cancers. The TCGA founders and selected current project team members were recognized for their extensive collaborations and ongoing efforts to generate one of the largest-ever sets of tumor characterization data.

Since its inception, TCGA has resulted in the molecular characterization of more than 20,000 primary cancer and matched normal samples spanning 33 cancer types. The data generated by TCGA have highlighted changes that possess the ability to drive cancer initiation and progression and transform our understanding of cancer.

In addition to these groundbreaking discoveries, TCGA has revolutionized cancer genomics research by establishing new standards and procedures for managing interdisciplinary teams of biological scientists, clinicians, computational scientists, and pathologists. TCGA has also been influential in developing and implementing universal policies that have made genomic data broadly available for public access.

The initiative faced a number of challenges early on due to the scale of the project, but the founders were determined to make a significant difference in cancer research to benefit cancer patients.

“There was a tremendous amount of work across multiple disciplines to fully sequence cancer genomes, and the significance of discoveries to come out of TCGA cannot be overstated,” said NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, one of TCGA’s founders. “TCGA continues to be one of the most important tools in the fight against cancer.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

WRNMMC expands innovation and opens new, permanent drive-thru pharmacy

Article
10/23/2020
Military pharmacist, wearing a mask, looking at bags of prescriptions

The new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-up will operate similarly as the curbside pharmacy pick-up.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Health Literacy Month 2020

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's iTClamp wins MHS research award

Article
9/11/2020
Image of a plastic clamp on someone's arm

“Hemorrhage control of bleeding is one our biggest problems in military medicine."

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Innovation | Combat Support

TBI Hot Topics Bulletin May 2020

Publication
8/4/2020

Are you a busy health care provider? Not enough time to keep up with research? Stay informed with the TBI Hot Topics Bulletin. We track the latest TBI scientific studies, advances, and discoveries most relevant to health care providers. This issue covers the first quarter of calendar year 2020.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources | Research and Innovation

Applying COVID-19 innovations to the future of MHS medicine

Article
7/14/2020
Virtual health visits are expanding in response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 has already irrevocably changed how we deliver care and will continue to do so.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation

Defending the Homeland: New Invention Helps Protect Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Article
7/9/2020
Image of medical personnel in hospital room

"[T]he team realized that while the CAMIC would function well for tracheostomy, its true use would be for intubation..."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation

Army & Navy providers team up to save soldier’s life

Article
7/6/2020
Military personnel sitting around a table, exhibiting medical items

ECMO is a heart-lung bypass system that circulates blood through an external artificial lung, oxygenates it, and delivers it back into the bloodstream.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Technology

COVID-19 leads to innovation in military health care practices

Article
7/1/2020
Man in lab coat and mask prepares sample for COVID-19 testing.

MHS thinks outside of the box to bring care to patients during pandemic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation

Navy Care virtual health app wins innovation award

Article
6/12/2020
Soldier in front of a computer monitor

Navy Care offers a live, virtual visit with a clinician — from the patient's smartphone, laptop, or computer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Technology

WRNMMC Recognizes Medical Researchers

Article
6/10/2020
Military personnel stand in front of window holding their awards

15 winners of Research & Innovation Month awards announced

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

Call for 2020 Military Health System Research Symposium abstracts open

Article
2/14/2020
Navy Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, deputy chief, Readiness and Health, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, meets with Mr. Mike Galarneau, director, Operational Readiness & Health, Naval Health Research Center, during poster presentations while attending MHSRS 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by John Marciano)

MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s premier scientific meeting

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

Achievements in 2019 provide strong foundation for year ahead

Article
12/23/2019
A Year in Review: Year of Military Health 2019

Dedication, commitment to mission praised as changes continue

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | MHS GENESIS | Research and Innovation | Preventive Health | MHS Transformation

World AIDS Day puts spotlight on landmark DoD study

Article
12/2/2019
Dr. John Mascola, director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center, discusses HIV vaccine progress at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nov. 26, during a World AIDS Day commemoration.  (U.S. Army photo)

Vaccine study shows infection risk lowered by 31 percent, offering hope for future

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Research and Innovation | Global Health Engagement

Women in DHA create impact across the federal health community

Article
11/4/2019
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, former director of the Defense Health Agency, accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award from FedHealthIT during their Leading for Impact in Federal IT & Consulting, Women in Leadership Conference in Arlington, Va. (DHA Photo by Hannah Wagner)

FedHealthIT recognized two DHA leaders, past and present, for their government service during a ceremony in Arlington, Va.

Recommended Content:

Innovation | Research and Innovation

Unleashing innovation to support field medics, corpsmen

Article
9/13/2019
A drone lifts off during the Hive Final Mile demonstration on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Drones are one of the autonomous technologies that might soon be helping medics provide care for warfighters on distant battlefields. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jacqueline A. Clifford)

Imagine unmanned vehicles bringing medical supplies or blood products to support a field medic’s care of wounded soldiers, or even transporting a wounded warfighter to safety. Researchers at the Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, or TATRC, are collaborating with the Services, academia and private industry to make such scenarios a reality.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Innovation

Navy Medicine researchers kick off 2019 Military Health System Research Symposium with strong showing

Article
8/20/2019
Navy Medicine West Commander Rear Adm. Tim Weber (right) discusses research findings with scientists from Navy Medicine's hospitals and research labs during the first poster session at the 2019 Military Health System Research Symposium. (U.S. Navy photo By Regena Kowitz)

Dozens of scientists from Navy are presenting their work

Recommended Content:

MHSRS 2019 | Research and Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.