Breaking Barriers:
Together Towards Tomorrow

Our Annual Meeting is heading to Seattle!
Join us October 14-18 for a great line-up of workshops, keynote speakers, educational tracks that cover every facet of research administration and connect with like-minded professionals from across our global community.

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote

Monday, October 16 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am 

Jevin West, Associate Professor, Information School, University of Washington

The Indispensable Role of Research Administrators 

In response to the growing crisis of misinformation, I co-founded the Center for an Informed Public (CIP) at the University of Washington in 2019. The mission of the center is to resist strategic misinformation, promote an informed society, and strengthen democratic discourse through research, policy, education and community engagement. Today, we consist of more than 50 faculty, research scientists, staff, students, and postdocs and are one of the leading centers devoted to the topic misinformation. An often overlooked acknowledgment in the creation of these new research centers and initiatives is the role of research services in making this all happen. In this talk, I will talk about my research and the role that research services played in my work. I will also talk about the evolving nature of this role on academic campuses, as I step into a new Associated Dean of Research position next year. 

Jevin West is an Associate Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He is the co-founder and the inaugural director of the Center for an Informed Public at UW, aimed at resisting strategic misinformation, promoting an informed society and strengthening democratic discourse. He is also the co-founder of the DataLab at UW, a Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute, and Affiliate Faculty for the Center for Statistics & Social Sciences. His research and teaching focus on the impact of data and technology on science, with a focus on slowing the spread of misinformation. He is the co-author of the book, “Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World,” which helps non-experts question numbers, data, and statistics without an advanced degree in data science.

Closing Keynote

Wednesday, October 18 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am  

Nicholas Vitanza, MD, Neuro-Oncologist - CNS CAR T Cell Lead - DIPG Research Lead, Seattle Children’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research

Iterative Translational Science with a Focus on Novel Therapeutics and Inclusion: Obstacles and Advancements 

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and diffuse midline glioma (DMG) are universally fatal central nervous system (CNS) tumors of childhood. While hundreds of clinical trials have failed, by optimizing preclinical models and developing innovative, iterative clinical trial pipelines, the international community is poised for a breakthrough to help these children and young adults. By leveraging the potential of targeted immunotherapy, Seattle Children’s has developed a series of intracranial chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell trials with the hope of safer, more effective therapeutic options. So far, over 80 enrolled children have received nearly 500 doses of intracranial CAR T cells and success with single-antigen targeting has advanced to multi-antigen targeting. By focusing on appropriate preclinical modeling and inclusive clinical trial enrollment strategies, these trials are laying a foundation for future immunotherapy trials for children with CNS diseases.

Dr. Nick Vitanza is a pediatric neuro-oncologist and translational scientist dedicated to the care of children with central nervous system (CNS) tumors with a focus on diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), diffuse midline glioma, H3 K27M-altered (DMG), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). During a pediatric oncology fellowship at NYU with Drs. Elizabeth Raetz and Bill Carroll, his labwork led to a COG clinical trial and to an ASPHO’s Young Investigator Early Career award. Next, he completed a pediatric neuro-oncology fellowship at Stanford University followed by a post-doc in Dr. Michelle Monje’s neuroscience/DIPG Lab. In her lab, he helped to identify combinatorial epigenetically targeted drug strategies against DIPG (published in Cancer Cell) and provided the preclinical foundation for a phase 1 clinical trial. In 2016, he joined Seattle Children’s where he serves as the DIPG Research Lead directing an independent laboratory focused on combinatorial epigenetic and immunotherapeutic treatment regimens against pediatric CNS tumors. He also serves as the CNS CAR T cell Lead and has written, directed, and been Study Chair of four repeatedly dosed intracranially delivered CNS CAR T cell trials. This includes BrainChild-01 targeting HER2 (published in Nature Medicine 2021), BrainChild-02 targeting EGFR, BrainChild-03 targeting B7-H3 (published in Cancer Discovery 2023), and BrainChild-04 using quad-targeting CAR T cells. Ultimately, his focus is rapidly advancing novel therapeutics for children with fatal CNS tumors.

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