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RAS Initiative Events

A fundamental aspect of scientific research is to enable and encourage the exchange of information and ideas through in-person workshops and meetings. The NCI RAS Initiative has organized multiple events with invited outside experts to discuss how the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs can be applied to discover vulnerabilities in RAS-driven cancers.

Targeted Workshops

  • 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 interacts 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 meet regularly to exchange observations and 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.

RAS Initiative Symposium

The first RAS Initiative Symposium held on December 15-16, 2015 attracted approximately 550 researchers to the FNLCR. The Symposium was a highly interactive forum which brought together experts conducting a broad cross section of RAS-related research in areas ranging from structural biology to signaling pathways to novel therapeutic approaches. The meeting featured invited presentations, short presentations from selected abstracts, and poster presentations.

The speakers included:

  • Allan Balmain, University of California, San Francisco
  • Mariano Barbacid, CNIO, Madrid
  • Johannes Bos, University of Utrecht
  • James Bradner, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Arul Chinnaiyan, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Karen Cichowski, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
  • Geoffrey Clark, University of Louisville
  • Beth Clymer, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Channing Der, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Nicole Ferenbacher, New York University
  • Stephen Fesik, Vanderbilt University
  • Alamayehu Gorfe, University of Texas, Houston
  • Jay Groves, University of California, Berkeley
  • William Hahn, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Kevin Haigis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • John Hancock, University of Texas, Houston
  • Peter Jackson, Stanford University
  • Douglas Lowy, National Cancer Institute
  • Frank McCormick, University of California, San Francisco
  • Deborah Morrison, National Cancer Institute
  • Mandar Muzumdar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mark Philips, New York University
  • Richard Roberts, University of Southern California
  • Neal Rosen, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • David Sabatini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Karla Satchell, Northwestern University
  • Kevin Shannon, University of California, San Francisco
  • Kevan Shokat, University of California, San Francisco
  • Peter Sorger, Harvard University
  • David Tuveson, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Matthew Vander Heiden, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Harold Varmus, Cornell Weill Medical College
  • Athanassios Vassilopoulos, Northwestern University
  • Eveline Vietsch, Georgetown University
  • Tina Yuan, University of California, San Francisco
  • Michael White, University of Texas, Southwestern
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