NEWS | June 11, 2014

UC Davis faculty share cancer research innovation with partners in Madrid


UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers take center stage this week in Madrid during the second in a series of workshops designed to enhance cultural, academic, scientific and business relations between UC Davis and Madrid.

Ralph de Vere White Ralph de Vere White

Cancer center director Ralph de Vere White will share the podium with Primo Lara, Julie Sutcliffe and Luis Carvajal in presentations on cancer imaging and diagnosis and improving patient outcomes in oncology through clinical and translational research initiatives. The Cancer and Regenerative Medicine Life Sciences Workshop runs June 12-14.

The global partnership was organized by the UC Davis School of Education and Office of Research with the Madrid Network, comprising more than 750 businesses, research centers and universities. The network, focused on innovation, represents the Madrid region’s government, Comunidad de Madrid, in the agreement with UC Davis.

De Vere White, a distinguished professor of urology, will give an overview on the comprehensive cancer center and its role in improving survival rates in patients with advanced disease. Specifically, he said, he will focus on the center’s partnership with Jackson Laboratories (JAX West), an NCI-designated cancer research facility, to find more targeted treatments for bladder cancer using a mouse model capable of growing human tumors.

De Vere White said he hopes to interest counterparts in Spain to cooperate in research that can advance and quicken the pace of development and clinical use of more precise cancer therapies. He likened the potential of the collaboration to the international approach to finding drugs to control the virus that causes AIDS.

Primo “Lucky” Lara, a UC Davis oncologist and associate director for translational research at the cancer center, will talk about translational early-phase clinical trials at UC Davis and discuss the lung cancer mouse model research with JAX West. He also will describe some of the cancer center’s stem cell research. Julie Sutcliffe, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, will discuss her research into new tracers for use in PET scans that more precisely target cancers. And Luis Carvajal Carmona, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, will talk about cancer evolution and clinical applications.

Several cancer specialists and researchers from Madrid also will give presentations during the workshop. Among the speakers to open the meeting will be Paul Dodd, associate vice chancellor in the UC Davis Office of Research.

The first workshop was held in December 2013 focusing on energy renewables and energy policy. The partnership was launched one year ago in an agreement signed by UC Davis Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 10,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit