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RAS Initiative Events

A key feature of the RAS Initiative’s ‘hub-and-spokes' model is to serve as an organizing force within the RAS community, promoting the exchange of information and bringing together leaders in the field to help quicken the pace of discovery. The RAS Initiative regularly hosts a symposium, and has held a number of targeted workshops in efforts to achieve this aim.

RAS Initiative Symposium

The first RAS Initiative Symposium, held on December 15-16, 2015, attracted approximately 550 researchers to the FNLCR. The primary objective of this interactive forum was to mobilize the cancer research community towards finding therapeutic solutions to RAS-driven cancers. Since then, subsequent meetings have drawn thousands of researchers from government, industry, and academic institutions worldwide to discuss topics ranging from structural biology to novel therapeutic approaches. The meetings feature invited presentations, short presentations from selected abstracts, and poster presentations.


Please check back later for announcements of new events.


Targeted Workshops

The following workshops engaged the wider community in tackling targeted questions in RAS biology, and shared knowledge acquired by our diverse team of scientists.

  • RAS Structure and Dynamics in Membranes Workshop
    October 20, 2016 
    The RAS Initiative is cooperating with the Department of Energy to model how RAS molecules interact with membranes. This workshop brought together outside membrane protein experts, DOE computational biologists, and RAS Initiative researchers to coordinate efforts to better understand, and possibly drug, RAS-membrane interactions. 
  • Fully Processed KRAS Protein Purification Workshop 
    May 16–17, 2016 
    The RAS Initiative published a procedure for purifying fully processed KRAS-4b protein from insect cells. This workshop brought interested scientists to the FNLCR to learn the key steps of the purification procedure to apply them to their own RAS research. 
  • RAS Initiative Small Business Workshop 
    February 25, 2016 
    The NCI SBIR program solicits applications from small businesses to develop new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. A workshop gathered technical directors from small businesses to describe how their organizations are developing tools that could advance the study of RAS biology or the development of RAS-related therapeutics. 
  • Synthetic Lethality Network Principal Investigators Meeting
    December 14, 2015 
    The National Cancer Institute has established a network of six laboratories to screen cancers driven by RAS genes for unique vulnerabilities. The directors of these labs met to exchange observations and discuss progress. 
  • RAS Immunotherapy Workshop 
    November 3, 2015 
    Immunotherapies harness the body's own immune system to fight cancer, and are among the most advanced cancer therapies today. This workshop developed as a follow-up to the workshop held on July 23, 2014. The main focus was to assess past and current efforts, and to identify knowledge gaps and strategies for future development of immunotherapies towards KRAS-driven cancers. 
  • Biophysical and Structural Analysis of Processed KRAS
    July 21–22, 2015 
    RAS molecules must be modified to reach the cell membrane before they can signal to the rest of the cell, either normally or abnormally. Our main goals are to evaluate state-of-the-art techniques and approaches that could be used to gain biophysical and structural insight into membrane-associated protein complexes containing fully modified (farnesylated, methylated) KRAS. 
  • Identifying Targets for Antibody, Nanoparticle, or Immune System Attack on KRAS Mutant Tumors 
    July 23, 2014 
    Targets for many powerful anti-cancer therapies must be unique to or enriched on the surface of cancer cells. This workshop sought advice on how to identify and best utilize cell surface targets on mutant RAS-expressing cancer cells. 
  • RAS Pathway Modeling and Quantitative Measurements 
    June 11, 2014 
    Participants at the KRAS Synthetic Lethality Workshop appreciated that new methods were being developed to analyze perturbed pathways in tumors, in various culture model systems, and in single cells. This workshop was held to learn about the state of the art tools so that we might develop quantitative methods to measure and model perturbations in the RAS pathway. 
  • KRAS Synthetic Lethality Workshop 
    January 8–9, 2014 
    Synthetic lethality screens identify vulnerabilities that are inherent in cancers but not normal tissues. Past screens had very limited success in identifying drug targets. This workshop focused on “next generation” screens using new technologies, 3D cell culture, and in vivo systems. Input from this workshop resulted in the formation of the Synthetic Lethality Network to attack cancers driven by mutant KRAS, and the NCI has awarded 4-year grants to six teams.
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