Meetings and Workshops — 
Forging Connections, Building Community, and Advancing Science

AACR meetings provide a dynamic, open environment to communicate the latest advances in cancer science and medicine. The AACR convened 33 meetings in 2015, the most in its history. The meetings are crafted to meet the varied needs of the research community, and they range from small conferences on specific disease sites and emerging scientific areas to larger gatherings on topics of general interest such as molecular targets, basic science, and cancer health disparities.

The AACR also hosts educational workshops and special courses focused on the vital mission of developing the next generation of investigators. Workshops train early-career scientists in clinical trial design, molecular biology, molecular epidemiology, and related fields. World-renowned experts on the faculty supplement educational programs with mentoring, networking, and career development opportunities — transforming a class of promising scientists into a network of future collaborators.

In addition to scientific excellence, the defining characteristic of AACR meetings is collaboration — across disciplines, across institutions, and across national borders. Seven conferences on the AACR calendar were held outside the United States, and nine conferences were organized in partnership with one or more scientific organizations. By fostering these collaborative relationships, AACR meetings and workshops provide a forum for cutting-edge science while creating a community that will maximize its impact.

Meeting held
outside U.S.


international conference

2015 Meetings and Workshops

MYC: From Biology to Therapy
January 7-10; La Jolla, California
Co-chairpersons: Dean W. Felsher, MD, PhD, Martin Eilers, PhD, Carla Grandori, DPhil, PhD, and James E. Bradner, MD

Translation of the Cancer Genome
Computational and Systems Biology of Cancer

February 7-11; San Francisco, California
Co-chairpersons: William C. Hahn, MD, PhD, Lynda Chin, MD, William R. Sellers, MD, Andrea Califano, PhD, Peter K. Jackson, PhD, and Brenda J. Andrews, PhD

AACR-SNMMI Joint Conference
February 11-14; San Diego, California
Co-chairpersons: Carolyn J. Anderson, PhD, David R. Piwnica-Worms, MD, PhD, and Christopher H. Contag, PhD

Tumor Angiogenesis and Vascular Normalization: Bench to Bedside to Biomarkers
March 5-8; Orlando, Florida
Co-chairpersons: Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, Harold F. Dvorak, MD, Napoleone Ferrara, MD, FAACR, Peter Carmeliet, MD, PhD, and Helen X. Chen, MD

Workshop: Accelerating Anticancer Agent Development and Validation
May 6-8; Bethesda, Maryland
Chairperson: H. Kim Lyerly, MD

Advances in Brain Cancer Research
May 27-30; Washington, D.C.
Co-chairpersons: Eric C. Holland, MD, Franziska Michor, PhD, Martine F. Roussel, PhD, and Michael D. Taylor, MD, PhD

Metabolism and Cancer
June 7-10; Bellevue, Washington
Co-chairpersons: Ralph J. DeBerardinis, MD, PhD, David M. Sabatini, MD, PhD, Almut Schulze, PhD

Workshop: Methods in Cancer Biostatistics — Clinical Trial Designs for Targeted Agents
June 7-13; Lake Tahoe, California
Chairperson: Steven Piantadosi, MD, PhD

Precision Medicine Series: Integrating Clinical Genomics and Cancer Therapy
June 13-16; Salt Lake City, Utah
Co-chairpersons: Charles L. Sawyers, MD, FAACR, Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, and Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD

13th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma
June 17-20; Lugano, Switzerland
Co-chairpersons: Franco Cavalli, MD, and Michele Ghielmini, MD, PhD

AACR-SIC-EACR Joint Conference: Anticancer Drug Action and Drug Resistance — From Biology to the Clinic
June 20-23; Florence, Italy
Co-chairpersons: Richard M. Marais, PhD, Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, and Riccardo Dolcetti, MD

Workshop: Methods in Clinical Cancer Research (Europe)
June 20-26; Flims, Switzerland
Co-directors: Stefan Sleijfer, MD, PhD (ECCO), Stephen M. Hahn, MD (AACR), Corneel Coens, MSc (EORTC), and Christian Dittrich, MD (ESMO)

Workshop: Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology
July 19-26; Snowmass, Colorado
Director: Levi A. Garraway, MD, PhD
Co-directors: Charles L. Sawyers, MD, FAACR, Mark W. Geraci, MD, and Jean Y. Tang, MD, PhD

Workshop: ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research
July 25-31; Vail, Colorado
Co-directors: S. Gail Eckhardt, MD, Neal J. Meropol, MD, and Yu Shyr, PhD

Workshop: Integrative Molecular Epidemiology
August 10-14; Boston, Massachusetts
Director: Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, MPH
Co-directors: Ellen L. Goode, PhD, and Peter Kraft, PhD

Workshop: Croucher Summer Course in Cancer Biology
August 10-14; Hong Kong
Co-directors: Irene O. L. Ng, MD, PhD, Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR, Wendy Hsiao, PhD

CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR: The Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference — Translating Science into Survival
September 16-19; New York, New York
Scientific Planning Committee: James P. Allison, PhD, FAACR, Cedrik M. Britten, MD, Glenn Dranoff, MD, Alexander M.M. Eggermont, MD, PhD, Carl G. Figdor, PhD, Wolf Hervé Fridman, MD, PhD, Philip D. Greenberg, MD, Axel Hoos, MD, PhD, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, Peter W.M. Johnson, MD, Guido Kroemer, MD, PhD, Nils Lonberg, PhD, Cornelis J.M. Melief, PhD, Ellen Puré, PhD, and Robert D. Schreiber, PhD

The AACR collaborated with the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT), and the European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI) to launch this groundbreaking conference. More than 1,400 attendees gathered in New York for a sold-out event that brought together leading experts in immunotherapy to discuss the latest developments in the field. Interest in the conference was so high that the collaborating organizations are working to make it an annual event.

Chromatin and Epigenetics in Cancer
September 24-27; Atlanta, Georgia
Co-chairpersons: Peter A. Jones, DSc, PhD, FAACR, Sharon Y.R. Dent, PhD, and Charles M. Roberts, MD, PhD

Advances in Breast Cancer Research
October 17-20; Bellevue, Washington
Co-chairpersons: Matthew J. Ellis, MD, PhD, Charles M. Perou, PhD, and Jane E. Visvader, PhD

Advances in Ovarian Cancer Research
October 17-20; Orlando, Florida
Co-chairpersons: Kathy R. Cho, MD, Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, and Douglas A. Levine, MD

Frontiers in Basic Cancer Research
October 23-26; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chairperson: M. Celeste Simon
Co-chairpersons: James P. Allison, PhD, FAACR, John E. Dick, PhD, Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD, and Nathanael S. Gray, PhD

The chairpersons for the latest edition of this biennial conference convened three lectures around the theme "Converging Topics and Emerging Research." These lectures identified the areas of greatest activity in basic research in the past year — "Immunology, Tumor Microenvironment, and Inflammation"; "Cell of Origin, Stem Cells, and Genetics"; and "Genetics and New Technologies in Cancer Research" — and illustrated how collaboration across these disciplines can power progress against cancer.

Basic Science of Sarcomas
November 3-4; Salt Lake City, Utah
[Complementary program to the Connective Tissue Oncology Society Annual Meeting]
Co-chairpersons: Robert G. Maki, MD, PhD, Lee J. Helman, MD, Brian A. Van Tine, MD, PhD, Jonathan A. Fletcher, MD, and Angelo Paolo Dei Tos, MD

AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics
November 5-9; Boston, Massachusetts
Scientific Committee Co-chairpersons: Levi A. Garraway, MD, PhD, Lee J. Helman, MD, and Jean-Charles Soria, MD, PhD

Held biennially in the United States, this conference developed from the original EORTC-NCI meetings on drug discovery and development which began in 1988. The AACR joined the partnership in 1999 in response to the need for more frequent meetings to keep pace with the rapid advancement of molecular biology and genetics, and the consequent emergence of many new targets for cancer therapeutics. In 2015, the U.S. edition offered attendees the opportunity to submit late-breaking abstracts for the first time. A total of 86 late-breaking abstracts were received for consideration as proffered presentations.

Workshop: Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists
November 8-13; Boston, Massachusetts
Co-chairpersons: Tom Curran, PhD, FAACR, George D. Demetri, MD, and Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD

Advances in Pediatric Cancer Research: From Mechanisms and Models to Treatment and Survivorship
November 9-12; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Co-chairpersons: Scott A. Armstrong, MD, PhD, Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS, MD, Kevin M. Shannon, MD, and Kimberly Stegmaier, MD

New Horizons in Cancer Research Conference
November 12-15; Shanghai, China
Co-chairpersons: Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, FAACR, and Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, FAACR

Following its successful launch in 2014, the second edition of this annual conference brought the most exciting discoveries from the AACR Annual Meeting 2015 to a receptive audience in China. The program was enhanced with presentations from outstanding international speakers and local experts. The centerpiece of the AACR's international outreach efforts, the New Horizons conference has created a foundation for global collaborations.

November 13-16; Atlanta, Georgia
Co-chairpersons: John M. Carethers, MD, Marcia R. Cruz-Correa, MD, PhD, Mary Jackson Scroggins, MA, Edith A. Perez, MD, Beti Thompson, PhD, and Cheryl L. Willman, MD

Tracing its origins to a 2006 think tank sponsored by the AACR and the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, this conference is the only one to address the full scientific spectrum of disparities, including basic science, clinical research, population science, behavioral research, and cancer survivorship. The 2015 conference brought together physicians, scientists, health professionals, and health care leaders working in a variety of fields to foster interdisciplinary collaborations.

The keynote address for the conference was delivered by Douglas R. Lowy, MD, FAACR, Acting Director of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Lowy, who has made reducing cancer health disparities a primary focus of the NCI, discussed “Understanding and overcoming cancer disparities in the U.S. and abroad.”

The 11th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference
November 18-19; Boston, Massachusetts
Co-chairpersons: Raju Kucherlapati, PhD, and Scott Weiss, MD, MS

Developmental Biology and Cancer
November 30-December 3; Boston, Massachusetts
Co-chairpersons: Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, FAACR, Stuart H. Orkin, MD, PhD, and Suzanne J. Baker, PhD

Tumor Metastasis
November 30-December 3; Austin, Texas
Co-chairpersons: Bruce R. Zetter, PhD, Melody A. Swartz, PhD, and Jeffrey W. Pollard, PhD

CSHA-AACR Joint Conference: Big Data, Computation, and Systems Biology in Cancer
December 2-5; Suzhou, China
Organizers: Andrea Califano, PhD, William C. Hahn, MD, PhD, Satoru Miyano, PhD, and Xuegong Zhang, PhD

Noncoding RNAs and Cancer
December 4-7; Boston, Massachusetts
Co-chairpersons: Joshua Mendell, MD, PhD, Jeannie T. Lee, PhD, and Howard Y. Chang, MD, PhD

CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
December 8-12; San Antonio, Texas
Co-directors: Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, FAACR, Virginia G. Kaklamani, MD, C. Kent Osborne, MD

The 38th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium also marked the ninth year of the AACR's collaboration with the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at UT Health Science Center San Antonio and Baylor College of Medicine. The 2015 program presented essential cutting-edge science combined with engrossing discussion for basic, translational, and clinical cancer research professionals.

AACR Think Tanks — 
AACR Members Driving Innovation

The most respected minds in the cancer research community convene to identify and nurture emerging scientific areas through AACR Think Tanks. These forums support and encourage open dialogue, shaping the next wave of innovations in cancer science. The action-oriented conversations continue well beyond the conference table, sparking collaborations that catalyze change.

Inaugural AACR Radiation
Oncology Think Tank:
Optimizing Cancer Care Through Advancements in Radiation Science
and Medicine

January 11-13; Fort Myers, Florida
Chairperson: Theodore S. Lawrence, MD, PhD
Goal: To provide a forum for radiation specialists, trainees, and distinguished investigators in other oncology fields to focus on radiation science and medicine, exploring its challenges and opportunities across all specialties.

QuadW-AACR Sarcoma Expert Panel:
Envisioning the Future of Sarcoma Research and Improved Patient Outcomes

September 11-12; Moran, Wyoming
Chairperson: Lee J. Helman, MD
Goal: To convene a diverse group of sarcoma experts to identify and evaluate the most promising areas in the field and to encourage and support young investigators and their research efforts.


The AACR sustains the pipeline of diverse, talented, and engaged cancer researchers through science education programs which nurture students from high school all the way to their first independent position. As physician-scientists and clinicians progress in their careers, the AACR continues their training through its Continuing Medical Education (CME) program. As a fully accredited ACCME CME provider since 2010, the AACR enables clinical investigators to apply critical aspects of basic cancer research to the clinical practice of oncology to aid in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer.

AACR-Thomas J. Bardos Science Education Scholar Awards for Undergraduate Students
Twenty-one remarkable undergraduate students attended the AACR Annual Meeting 2015 as Bardos awardees. The program offers students an invaluable opportunity to learn about the latest developments in cancer research, interact with prominent researchers, and form lasting connections with other gifted young scientists.

Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition
Undergraduate students learn about careers in cancer research from leaders in the field, who present their groundbreaking research, discuss educational pathways, and offer career development advice at the Annual Meeting. Students also present their own research, receiving feedback from peers as well as from experts. The program marked its 10-year anniversary in 2015, celebrating nearly 700 undergraduate participants since 2006.

Special Program for High School Students
Even the youngest scientists can learn about cancer research directly from experts while presenting their own novel research. In 2015, 350 students from local schools as well as students working in laboratories of AACR members participated in the program. Students at the Annual Meeting heard from guest speakers Devon Still — a former NFL player whose daughter is a neuroblastoma survivor —  and Reggie Love, a writer, editor, and former special assistant and personal aide to President Obama.

Continuing Medical Education
The AACR provides physician-scientists and clinicians with a wide range of opportunities to maintain their competence and incorporate new knowledge into their practice. CME credit was offered at 22 different AACR meetings in 2015, including 15 special conferences, three joint conferences, three workshops, and the Annual Meeting. AACR journals provided another educational resource, offering credit to investigators for reading articles as well as for reviewing manuscripts. A total of 3,234 researchers and clinicians claimed CME credit from the AACR in 2015, ensuring that caregivers apply the full spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical cancer science to improving the lives of their patients.