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January 30, 2017

The Barry & Virginia Weinman Symposium

Weinman Innovation Fund

Barry and Virginia Weinman created the Weinman Foundation Fund for Innovation in 2010, gifting the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center with a $1.7M fund. Through this generous gift, the annual Weinman Symposium was established. The goal of the two-day conference is to bring together international experts from different fields of science and medicine, promoting collaboration and brainstorming about specific themes in cancer research.

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The Annual Weinman Symposium at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center covered some of the latest cancer research findings, specifically how genes interact with the environment. Top-scientists from across the nation presented and looked at opportunities for future research collaborations.

The event on January 26 and 27 included sessions on gene-environment interaction in lung cancer, how the environment affects T cells in cancer and gene-environment interactions in studies of indoor air pollution and lung cancer in eastern Asia.

The Weinman Symposium is supported by the generosity of the Weinman Foundation. In 2010, Barry and Virginia Weinman created the Weinman Foundation Fund for Innovation at the UH Cancer Center. This fund makes it possible for the Center to invite prominent leaders in cancer research to Hawaiʻi every year. These globally-recognized experts are selected for their work in cancer research and its successful translation into therapy and care. While here, they work with the Cancer Center and establish research collaborations with the faculty.

“I am grateful to Mrs. and Mr. Weinman who entrusted me with their donation to bring to Hawaiʻi some of the best scientists of the world. It is a unique opportunity for us faculty, post docs and students, to discuss science and make joint projects with them to find new ways to prevent and cure cancer. I am also very grateful to the International Agency to Study Lung Cancer who co-sponsored the meeting,”

- Michele Carbone, UH Cancer Center’s director of Thoracic Oncology.

Randy W. Schekman, the 2013 Nobel Prize winner for physiology or medicine, was awarded the 8th Weinman Award presented by Senator Josh Green, chair of the Committee on Human Services. The event included a question and answer session allowing graduate and post-doctoral students an opportunity to ask Schekman questions on how to conduct research.

Schekman won the Nobel Prize with James Rothman and Thomas C. Südhof, “for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”.

“Some of the most prominent scientists in the broad field of cancer research spoke at the event. It was a great experience to hear them, and an inspiration to those who attended,”

- Bruce Beutler, 2011 Nobel Prize winner in medicine.

“It is an honor to have Nobel Laureates and world-renowned researchers sharing their discoveries and looking at ways to collaborate with us here in Hawaiʻi,” said Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director. “We are thankful for the Weinman Foundation for this great opportunity to advance innovative cancer research.”

Weinman Symposium participants
Weinman Symposium participants

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