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Mass General Cancer Center to Host the Arthur and Sandra Irving Cancer Immunology Symposium, July 19-21

Hospital News

Mass General Cancer Center to Host the Arthur and Sandra Irving Cancer Immunology Symposium, July 19-21

Global program will connect respected researchers with the next generation of scientists

Mass General Giving
July 18, 2022

BOSTON, MA – The Mass General Cancer Center will host the 2022 Arthur and Sandra Irving Cancer Immunology Symposium from July 19-21, bringing together 14 accomplished immunology mentors from renowned academic medical institutions and research scientists from private industry who will discuss their research, discoveries and distinguished careers in cancer immunology with 36 talented young scientists and physicians from around the world. Among the participants are advanced post-doctoral researchers and graduate students and starting faculty establishing their research programs.

The education-focused symposium — made possible by longtime Mass General supporters and benefactors Arthur, Sandra and Sarah Irving — will help scientists at the early stages of their professional lives develop strong ties with senior faculty mentors while learning about diverse scientific discovery and career paths within the field of cancer immunology research, which has grown tremendously in the past decade and positively impacted the lives of cancer patients throughout the world. Immunotherapy has become the standard of care for many cancers and continues to evolve rapidly with new discoveries and therapies.

“This essential program will help mentors engage, support and inspire the next generation of cancer immunologists at a critical stage in their careers,” said Nir Hacohen, PhD, Director, MGH Center for Cancer Immunology who, along with Robert Schreiber, Ph. D, Professor at Washington University School of Medicine and Shannon Turley, Ph. D, Vice President, Immunology Discovery and OMNI Biomarker Discovery at Genentech, serve as symposium co-chairs. “The symposium is designed to galvanize early-career scientists around shared goals by providing the tools they need to pursue innovative research and discover breakthrough therapies that will benefit cancer patients here and abroad.

Faculty mentors will cover a wide array of topics including the design, execution and evaluation of transformative research programs, overcoming obstacles in career paths, reinforcing the value of partnership and collaboration, mentoring trainees and reviewing all aspects of fundraising and publishing. The program includes lectures, panels, small working groups with faculty mentors and review sessions to help participants integrate what they learned into current and future work. Last year’s ‘lessons learned’ from the symposium were summarized elegantly in a publication in the journal Cancer Immunology Research, authored by the symposium participants.

To further support career development, participants will have an opportunity to update their research statements. A key part of the planning process for researchers, research statements summarize research achievements, describe current work and its potential impact and envision plans for future efforts.

“Our support of the cancer symposium is an expression of our gratitude, respect and admiration for those who dedicate their lives, their hearts, kind souls and brilliant minds to cancer research,” says Sandra Irving. “In research, in finding answers, lies the greatest hope for cancer patients.  The coming together of cancer researchers from all over the world to study immunology is an inspiration for all of us in realizing that the greatest strength is one of working together.”

As cancer survivors, Arthur and Sandra Irving know the value of cutting-edge research, training and compassionate care. Together they have established the David P. Ryan, MD, Endowed Chair in Cancer Research as well as a special fund in Gastrointestinal Immuno-Oncology.

In recent years, Arthur, Sandra and Sarah Irving have established Chairs in both Cardiology and Oncology and funded the hospital’s critical immunology research. In addition to underwriting this year’s symposium, the family has generously supported several other educational seminars and retreats.

Additional information can be found here.

About the Mass General Cancer Center

An integral part of one of the world’s most distinguished academic medical centers, the Mass General Cancer Center’s commitment to eradicating cancer is fueled by scientific investigation conducted as part of the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Through a powerful synergy between scientists in the laboratories and physicians at the bedside, the Cancer Center fosters innovation in basic, translational and clinical research. Learn more here.