I am inspired by the ambitious goals set out by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who wants to see our university move in just four years from 11th to fifth in the nation for research funding. At the UC Davis Cancer Center, we look forward to doing our part to reach this exciting milestone.
In these challenging economic times, we are moving in the right direction. By combining individual innovation with team science our researchers are making important advances against this vexing disease.
In this issue of Synthesis, we explore several of these, from basic laboratory work to discern and kill cancer stem cells to the creation of interactive software to help Latinos understand the importance of colorectal screening – and reduce disparities in colon cancer incidence among Latinos.
It is only when traditional barriers to collaboration are dismantled that scientific discovery can thrive. At UC Davis, we have forged a unique collaboration with the School of Veterinary Medicine that allows us to bridge the gap between animal and human medicine, particularly in the understanding and treatment of certain types of cancer. In this edition of Synthesis, you will read how a young veterinary oncologist, Michael Kent, is helping build that bridge.
Similarly, we have joined the other UC cancer centers in an unprecedented partnership to improve outcomes for women with breast cancer by collecting data on thousands of patients throughout the state and following them over several years. Our breast cancer program team will help lead the ATHENA Breast Health Network, contributing our cross-campus expertise in pathology, bioinformatics and biospecimen collection.
At UC Davis Cancer Center, patients benefit from and are participants in the scientific endeavors that improve care for all. We are excited to share the story of a Bay Area lung cancer doctor, whose own experience with the disease led him to David Gandara and Phillip Mack, UC Davis experts using team science to develop a personalized approach to lung cancer treatment.
Pregnancy is a major event in any woman's life. For patient Tracy Hartman, that good news was complicated by a cancer diagnosis. A team of UC Davis oncology experts have completed numerous studies on patients like Hartman, working to ensure that when cancer strikes during pregnancy both mother and baby are survivors.
UC Davis Cancer Center relies on other kinds of teams as well. Support from the Children's Miracle Network, which teams with researchers, has allowed our pediatric oncologists to make new discoveries in the treatment of childhood cancer.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Synthesis from the UC Davis Cancer Center, where we are breaking barriers and building bridges to beat cancer.