December 20, 2017

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Director's Column - What's in a Name? by Dr. Tom Sellers

For nearly a decade the Moffitt Research Institute has had an academic Department of Cancer Imaging and Metabolism, led from day one by Dr. Robert Gillies. He recently met with Dr. John Cleveland (Division Chief of Basic Science) and me to discuss a recent department faculty retreat. There were several agenda items at the retreat, one of which was a debate as to whether or not to rename the Department. The short answer was yes and the new name will be Cancer Physiology. Why devote a column to this? Because there are several lessons inherent in this name change that made it worthy of a highlight. (Mystery revealed about the column title?)

Initiative - This was not a top-down decision, nor was there any sort of mandate or suggestion that the name of the department be reconsidered. The Chair and the faculty recognized that as the department has grown and evolved, the original name no longer adequately represented the scientific interests and focus of the current members. Thus, they took the initiative to discuss the situation and consider alternatives with an open mind, and then make recommendations. This is exactly the culture that our CEO Dr. Alan List has been calling for repeatedly, as the rapid change in healthcare and the business of science requires that we adapt accordingly with a philosophy that challenges assumption and the status quo, and always seeks new strategies and ideas.

Rationale - The choice of the new name reflected careful introspective and deliberate consideration of the impact of each word selected. The choice of "cancer" and not "tumor" reflects the desire to embrace the processes of carcinogenesis and progression, and not just focus on defining existing tumors and their response to therapy. The definition of physiology is the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts. Thus, including physiology in the department name demonstrates their recognition that cancers have a physiology, and not just a pathophysiology. By combining "Cancer" and "Physiology" in the title the faculty have redefined physiology as the discipline of defining mechanisms whereby components of a system interact to create more complex behaviors. Physiology is thus integrative and multi-scalar, and that perspective is consistent with the current research strategic plan to tackle the complexity of cancer.

Consensus - Dr. Gillies shared with Dr. Cleveland and me that when this thought experiment was first posed the faculty were asked to submit to him three words that captured their research programs. Not surprisingly, there was very little overlap in those words. Finding common ground required open and candid yet courteous dialogue. The focus was clearly on what was best for the department, being mindful that the department is a part of a much larger ecosystem - the entire cancer center. Working together for the good of all is something all of us can get better at (here "us" definitely includes our elected officials).

Alignment with Strategic Plan - As we have written about in this column and discussed at faculty meetings and town halls, we see cancer metabolism as an area of scientific growth and opportunity where Moffitt can become the best. Indeed, there are aspirations to create a new Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) Research Program that would coalesce the current and planned faculty in this space to accelerate the science and its impact. Although there are many great ideas generated each and every day at Moffitt, those which align with the strategic plan have the far greatest chance of being adopted and implemented.

Innovation - There is something extremely gratifying about being the first at something. The Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology was the first one in the country. The Cancer Biology and Evolution Program was another first. So was having an ACD of Data Science and an Academic Division of Quantitative Science. The list goes on and on. I did a Google search on Departments of Cancer Physiology, and believe we have another first. That sort of innovation epitomizes this organization since its beginning, and although part of our DNA, we do need to see that it is constantly transcribed and expressed.

Congratulations to Dr. Gillies and faculty for the rebranding exercise that resulted in our new Department of Cancer Physiology. Here's to its continued success and impact! And more broadly here's to the impact we can have each day in our future, as we prepare to start 2018.

My best wishes to you and yours for very happy and healthy holidays!

(NEW) Congratulations to our Moffitt Award of Excellence Winners

This year, 75 nominations were submitted with some candidates receiving multiple nominations for the H. Lee Moffitt Award of Excellence. Moffitt's annual Award of Excellence ceremony honors two team members and five honorable mentions who exemplify the vision, dedication, compassion and caring spirit of founder H. Lee Moffitt and his belief that "one person can make a difference."

The award recognizes individuals who are here because they care about the cancer center's mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

The Award of Excellence is a peer-to-peer recognition program. A committee, which consists of a diverse group of team members throughout Moffitt and the Award of Excellence winners from the previous year, selects two winners (one from a research area and one from a non-research area), as well as five honorable mentions, based on the following award criteria:
• Exhibits an exceptionally caring and compassionate attitude in daily work
• Faces challenges with a positive attitude
• Exemplifies a true collaborative spirit and has a positive effect on others
• Contributes daily to the mission of excellence
• Makes great contributions to the mission in a "behind-the-scenes" role

Congratulations to Carlos Irizarry, Environmental Services, and Yuraima Rodriguez, Clinical Trials Office, on being named the 2017 Award of Excellence winners!


The winners were announced and honored at the Award of Excellence ceremony on Dec. 18. Each winner received $500, a certificate and a plaque. The five Award of Excellence honorable mentions also were recognized at the ceremony. They include: Maureen Ahearn, sponsored research administration intramural PR, Office of Sponsored Research; Joseph Kreitzer, cell therapy quality specialist, Cell Therapy Quality Program; Ludivina Lay, cell therapy technologist, Cell Therapy Vaccine Lab, Graduate Studies; Valerie Hodges, registered nurse, Endoscopy Clinic; and Paul Woodward, manager, Supply Chain Analytics.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to recognize others who are making a difference at Moffitt.

(NEW) Software Requests For Research

Recently, Information Technology (IT) led an effort to improve the software request and purchase process. Software we purchase is distinct from software we develop within Moffitt. As we have grown in size and complexity, our processes for requesting, purchasing and supporting software has not kept up with our needs. In the past, there was very little oversight of software requests, which led to numerous challenges, including increased costs, inadequate support and cyber security concerns.

Now, with the new process, numerous stakeholders provide input in evaluating the risks, costs and benefits to a software request. These stakeholders include:
• Business Owner - submits the software request including an explanation of need
• Asset Management  - facilitates the request through the process, including final purchase
• Technology Review Board (TRB) - reviews request against architectural/security standards, business function, and solution redundancy
• Research Applications Council (RAC) - evaluates need, budget, and prioritization
• IT Business Management Office (BMO) and Office of General Counsel - reviews contract terms

The number of reviews required a standardized workflow to ensure adequate review and approvals without slowing down the purchase process. The new process includes the following benefits:
• Avoids duplicate purchases for similar solutions
• Provides better prioritization and budgeting, leading to strategic purchases
• Provides transparency to the request, purchase and install process
• Accounts for staff and other resources so that software can be fully supported
• Ensures expertise to install, troubleshoot, and support software is available
• Ensures we maintain a secure network environment
• Ensures proper licensing and software inventory

Software requests that are of a nominal cost and have no security or architecture concerns or are grant funded are fast tracked.

How to Request Software
To request new software, please fill out a software request form.

To find the form in the future, it may be easier to follow these steps:
1. Select Moffitt Service Portal from the intranet home page under Quick Links
2. Click on IT Service Desk
3. Click on Applications and Software (top middle box)
4. Click on Create an Application Change/Enhancement located under New Solutions and Enhancements (bottom right), which will take you to the form. Click on use windows login to access the form.

(NEW) Moffitt Learning Center

Moffitt is launching a new enterprise-wide, online learning center that will be accessible to all team members in January 2018. This new learning center will be Moffitt's centralized hub for team members to find learning resources and training, both formal and informal, as well as the "source of truth" for training data. All Moffitt employees, non-employees with a network ID and M2Gen employees will have access to the center.

Developed by the Portal and Web Technologies team with the help of the Learning Design and Technology team, the Learning Center addresses some of Moffitt's business goals around learning and development. Benefits include:

  The Learning Center will be the centralized repository for easy and just-in-time access to learning resources and training. This will help:
¤ Shorten team member ramp-up time from new hire to full productivity.
  ¤ Reduce the amount of resource time needed for basic skills-type classroom training.
  ¤ Increase team member engagement and retention by allowing team members to find the learning resources and training they need, when they need it.
The Learning Center will be the "source of truth" for team member training data for efficient tracking and reporting. This will help:
¤ Reduce the administrative time needed to track and gather employee training data.
  ¤ Increase training efficiency and effectiveness by allowing educators to analyze more comprehensive learning data and measure results to identify and respond to skills gaps and improve performance.
  ¤ Decrease training deficiencies and non-compliance penalties.

Research-specific training resources will be announced as they are rolled out over the next few months.

(NEW) 2018 Annual Research Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

The 2018 Annual Research Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Statement will be rolled out Tuesday, January 2. The deadline for completion of the COI Disclosure Statement is Wednesday, January 31.

Faculty members and staff required to complete the COI Disclosure Statement will be sent instructions via an email from the COI Administrator. This annual reporting requirement is taking place in January 2018 to align the reporting of payments and compensation you have received in the 2017 tax year.

If you have any questions, please contact Gail Hall in Corporate Compliance.

(NEW) Biomedical Library Holiday Staffing

The Moffitt Biomedical Library will have reduced staff Dec. 25 - Jan. 1. Article requests will be delayed during that time.

Biostatistics 101 for Cancer Researchers

The Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics is offering a Bios 101 course for faculty and staff. The course will cover basic statistical concepts and methods in cancer research and be held Wednesday from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. between  January 10 - March 14. Registration is required by Friday, January 5.

Syllabus | Register

Faculty Photo and Bio Guidelines

Moffitt as an organization recognizes that our external facing website is an important and powerful resource for patients and peers to learn about our faculty members. The steps listed in the policy will be followed to ensure faculty member bios are complete and accurate. A headshot is usually taken during hiring and on boarding to accompany each faculty member's web bio. New hire photos and requests for updated photos are taken by Moffitt's in-house photographer. Badge photos, taken by Human Resources, are not acceptable as a web portrait image. See full policy for more details.

There will be no MRI Signals next week. Our next issue will be January 3.

We wish you and your families a happy holiday season and safe and Happy New Year.

Grants and Funding Announcements

(NEW) Coalition for Medical Marijuana Research and Education Funding Opportunity

The State of Florida approved legislation and provided funding for the creation of the Medical Marijuana Research and Education (MMRE) Coalition. As stated in legislative statute 1004.4351, the purpose of the Coalition is to conduct rigorous scientific research, provide education, disseminate research, and guide policy development for the adoption of a statewide policy for the medical use of marijuana. For more information, please visit the Coalition for Medical Marijuana Research and Education website.

The State of Florida's MMRE Program invites investigators to apply for pilot funding for research and education projects. To eliminate delays due to the short funding period in 2017-18, the first year pilot funding opportunity available through the MMRE will be available to Moffitt faculty only. Research and education funding opportunities available from June 2018 onward will be available to all academic and research institutions in the State of Florida. Applications may request up to $50,000 in Direct Costs ($57,500 total costs).

Letters of intent are due Monday, January 15 at 4:00 p.m. Full applications are due Thursday, February 1 at 4:00 p.m.

Funding Guidelines and Application

Moffitt Clinical Trial Funding Opportunity

The Moffitt Research Institute is pleased to announce a clinical trial funding opportunity with an emphasis on increasing minority accrual. Funding will be awarded to a proposal for an investigator-initiated phase 0, I, or II intervention, including therapeutic, supportive care and prevention, clinical trial that addresses an underrepresented population and is likely to lead to increased minority subject accrual. Opportunity to support all faculty ranks. The award maximum is $100,000 for the clinical trial (including trial coordination, data management, non-billable lab tests, etc.) and up to $50,000 for correlative science costs (including shared resources, research lab supplies and tech support).

The deadline is Thursday, February 1 at 4:00 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Maureen Ahearn.


Holiday Schedule for the Office of Sponsored Research

The OSR will be closed December 25, 26 and January 1. Additionally, there will be limited staff December 27-29. If you have questions or need immediate assistance during that time, please email us.

Moffitt-Celgene Innovative Studies Funding Opportunity

Moffitt invites its investigators to apply for grant funding to address unmet medical needs or standard of care challenges. The maximum award amount is $870,000 for two years.

Submission deadline is Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. For additional information, please contact the Alliance Management Department.

Moffitt Innovative Studies Guidelines

Research Lab 360: Cores, Labs, and Space

(NEW) Lab Coat Reminder

As a reminder, please be sure you are placing your dirty lab coats in the designated dirty glassware bin for your lab. Also, please do not place lab coats on the shelf above the lab coat racks.

And if you have employees in your lab who leave Moffitt, please be sure they return their lab coats to SRB Glasswash Room 20115.


Holiday Schedule for Comparative Medicine

The University of South Florida will be closed December 25 - January 1. There will be no animal arrivals during that time.

Animal orders requested for arrival the week of January 2 must be submitted to Comparative Medicine by Tuesday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m. Orders received after this deadline will be processed for arrival the week of January 8.

Important Changes to Sanger Sequencing Services

In order to improve data quality, lower costs to you and to streamline Core services, the Molecular Genomics Core has moved to GeneWiz as a preferred vendor for Sanger sequencing. While we will still collect and ship samples out on a daily basis, all purchase requisitions, sample submission and support will be handled directly between the GeneWiz and your lab.

For those labs that have not transitioned, please review this flyer that describes the new partnership as well as the process to get setup in the GeneWiz system.

The MGC plans to phase out its current LIMS-based service with Eurofins by December 22. Please take the time now to complete your transition to the new service. You can contact Lanmin Zhang or our very helpful GeneWiz rep Deidra Conner  if you need assistance setting up an account.

Seminars and Events

(NEW) January 3 - Anatomic Pathology Grand Rounds, Contact Maria Christophilopoulous
Ling Zhang, MD, Associate Member, Department of Hematopathology and Laboratory Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
Updates in Histiocytes/Dendritic Cells and Histiocytic/Dendritic Neoplasms
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Stabile Research Building, Ferman Family Conference Room (Lunch provided to the first 60 attendees)

Calendar | Flyer
January 10 - Basic Science Grand Rounds, Contact Shonda Sterner
Christos Hatzis, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Bioinformatics, Breast Medical Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT
Intratumor and Clonal Heterogeneity in Breast Cancer - Characterization and Implication
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Stabile Research Building, David Murphey Conference Room (Lunch provided to the first 75 attendees)

Calendar | Flyer
(NEW) January 11 - Revised Common Rule Training, Contact Erin Phillips
Jamie Reddish, Research Compliance Administrator, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Revisions to the Common Rule (45 CFR 46): Will Your Research Be Affected?
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Stabile Research Building, Ted and Marty Couch Auditorium

Sign into Lawson, click MCC Training Tab at the top, and click registration by course, scroll down under courses and select Revisions to the Common Rule, click the number 1 next to the start date under session and a pop up will say that you are registered for the course.

January 17 - Basic Science Grand Rounds, Contact Shonda Sterner
David T. Ting, PhD, Associate Clinical Director for Innovation and Assistant Physician, MGH Cancer Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
The Relationship of Pancreatic Circulating Tumor Cell Heterogeneity and the Stroma Microenvironment
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Stabile Research Building, David Murphey Conference Room (Lunch provided for the first 75 attendees)

Calendar | Flyer
(NEW) January 22 - Candidate for Department of Breast Oncology, Contact Lauren Hobby
Sangeetha Reddy, MD, MSci, Research Instructor, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Targeting the Tumor Immune Microenvironment of Breast Cancers
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Moffitt McKinley Campus, Gruden Huddle Room

Calendar | Flyer
January 25 - Experimental Hematology Seminar Series, Contact Jill Cass
Brad S. Kahl, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Lymphoma Program, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Mantle Cell Lymphoma: The State of the State in 2018
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Stabile Research Building, David Murphey Conference Room (Lunch provided to the first 50 attendees)

Calendar | Flyer
February 6 - Immunology Program Research in Progress Seminar, Contact Rose Reyes
Jenny Ting, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Innate Immune Receptors: Cancer, Inflammation and the Microbiome
9:00 - 10:00 a.m., Stabile Research Building, Ferman Family Conference Room

Calendar | Flyer
(NEW) February 7 - Basic Science Grand Rounds, Contact Shonda Sterner
Keith T. Flaherty, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Defining Resistance to Dual MAP Kinase Pathway Inhibition and Strategies to Overcome It
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Stabile Research Building, David Murphey Conference Room (Lunch  provided to the first 75 attendees)

Calendar | Flyer
Funding Opportunities

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Clinical Research

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