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...

NAMRU-SA partakes in virtual San Antonio postdoctoral research forum

Article
1/19/2021
Military officer sitting at her desk and smiling

For NAMRU-SA it was an opportunity to highlight the unit’s battlefield health and trauma care initiatives.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program

Congressional Testimony
1/11/2021

S. 3159, SAC Report for FY 2019 , 115-290 , Pg. 210

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Article
1/5/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Innovation | Technology

DHA’s IT innovation continues during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
12/31/2020
Three military personnel, wearing masks, in front of a computer screen

IT innovations keep pace despite COVID-19 road blocks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology | MHS GENESIS

MHS Team Resiliency Awards recognize medical response to COVID-19

Article
12/22/2020
Sailors wearing masks, leaning on a table and writing on sheets of paper

Outstanding efforts recognized during Resiliency Awards

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation

Nurse-led research aims to improve battlefield medicine

Article
12/21/2020
Military nurses working on a simulated patient in a helicopter

[O]ne of their goals is to create novel solutions to optimize survival and functional recovery of burn casualties.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Research and Innovation

USAMRIID scientist recognized by French for distinguished service

Article
12/4/2020
Two military officers on stage; one handing the other a certificate

Kugelman...identified genetic markers of persistence of the Chikungunya virus.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Technology

METC improves surgical tech training with new laparoscopy standard

Article
12/1/2020
Surgical team in operating room

A laparoscopy is a low-risk, non-invasive surgical procedure used to examine organs inside the abdomen and repair or remove tissue.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Technology

Walter Reed, VA focus on joint efforts in 3D medical application

Article
11/9/2020
Three physicians wearing masks; one sitting at a desk, two standing

The JIF award focuses on the Department of Defense/VA 3D Printing Consortium for Medical Applications.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Technology

Military nurses hold virtual research & evidence-based practice course

Article
10/30/2020
Two nurses, wearing masks, examining a mannequin

Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the three-day in-person course was abbreviated to a one-day virtual.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Research and Innovation

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 Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | 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
<< < 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.