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Russian delegation visits NIH and NCI to discuss research collaboration

, by Paul Pearlman

Dr. Stephen Greenberg, Public Services Coordinator & Reference Team Lead, talks with the delegation at the National Library of Medicine.

On June 1st, the NCI Center for Global Health hosted a delegation from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) to discuss ongoing and future collaborations in cancer research. The delegation was accompanied by representatives from the US Embassy in Moscow and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington DC. The day of meetings was productive and discussion was lively.

The delegation started their day with a visit with Dr. Louis Staudt at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, where they heard about the groundbreaking work in precision medicine focused on B-cell lymphomas taking place in his laboratory, and discussed the continuing revolution in next generation sequencing and the increasing importance of molecular diagnostics.  From there, the delegation toured the NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine, where they met with Dr. Eugene Koonin, who shared details on his ongoing work on comparative evolutionary genomics.

The afternoon was spent at the NCI Shady Grove campus meeting with CGH leadership, program directors from across the NCI divisions. The day concluded as the delegation met with Dr. Stephen Chanock. Dr. Chanock provided an overview of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics programs, and talked about specific opportunities for further collaboration in Russia. Items of particular mutual interest discussed throughout the day included precision medicine/precision prevention for cancer, HIV/AIDS associated malignancies, immunotherapy, biomedical imaging, nano-medicine for cancer diagnostics and drug delivery, cancer epidemiology, risk factors, and many topics in the area of biomarkers.

The day’s meetings opened the door to several possibilities for collaboration - strengthening research across both nations. Most notably, the visit played an essential role in finalizing the administrative details of a cooperative, co-funded cancer research program between the NCI and RFBR that we are optimistic will be announced this fall.

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