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Published on May 09, 2014

Gibbs Symposium Expands Horizons of Research

A locally-organized medical research symposium reaches well beyond Spartanburg – across the nation and into the realm of outer space, in fact – in a quest to enhance personalized cancer care at the community level.

“Space, Cancer & Personalized Medicine: Expanding the Horizons of Research” takes place Thursday and Friday, May 15-16, on the Carolinas campus of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). Hosted by Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, the conference connects clinicians, scientists, researchers and other healthcare industry professionals through a unique exchange of ideas from the ever-evolving fields of cancer research and space biology.

A high caliber lineup of speakers is drawing some 200 attendees from all over the country.

“This eclectic forum is designed to educate and inspire participants to make positive changes in the delivery of patient care,” said Kristin Lacey, Director of Gibbs Research Institute. “It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to share knowledge gleaned from collaboration amongst colleagues across various disciplines.” 

“Space, Cancer & Personalized Medicine” showcases the cutting-edge research and ongoing advances in clinical care taking place right here in the Upstate while also providing a venue for guest speakers from national organizations such as NASA Glenn Research Center and 23andMe, Inc. In addition, the conference features panelists from the Intermountain Healthcare, Johnson Space Center, UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program and Baylor College of Medicine, just to name a few.

By sparking a multidisciplinary dialogue, the symposium fosters continuous advances in individualized cancer care. “We want to transform the way patients obtain the best treatment possible through progress in personalized medicine, making it more accessible and, ultimately, more cost-effective,” said Lacey. “Our goal is ‘better, smarter, faster.’”

“Developments in the technology landscape are helping to shift healthcare toward predictive and preventive care,” according to Timothy Yeatman, M.D., FACS, Center Director and President of Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute.

“It’s vital we expand efforts to treat each cancer patient as an individual, based on their genetic composition,” Yeatman said. “This conference emphasizes the importance of understanding disease at a molecular level.”

This is the second year Gibbs Cancer Center has hosted the research symposium, which brings national exposure to Spartanburg.

“We are pleased to present ‘Space, Cancer & Personalized Medicine’ as a collective effort between Gibbs Cancer Center and VCOM,” said Lacey. “And with support from CASIS and the Gibbs Health Institute, we anticipate this will become an annual ‘go-to’ event for those interested in the emerging practice of personalized medicine and gateways for expanding research efforts.”

Organizers have filled the symposium schedule with presentations and open discussions focused on “expanding the horizons of research.” 

The itinerary includes:

Session 1: Personalized Medicine

  • Personalized Genomic Testing
  • Technological Advances Aiding Personalized Medicine
  • The Clinical Implementation of Cancer Genomics within an Integrated Health System
  • Panel Discussion: Emerging World of Personalized Medicine

Session 2: Basic Science

  • The Science of Tumor Progression and the Regulation of Cancer Metastasis
  • Using Mouse Avatars to Personalize Cancer Therapy: Exploring Agents from Small Molecules to Oncolytic Viruses
  • Cancer Cell Migration: Unraveling the Oncogenic Contributions of p27Kip1
  • Does Cancer Immunotherapy Have a Niche in Oncology?
  • Panel Discussion: Advances in Cancer Research

Session 3: Space Biology

  • The Value of Microgravity Research
  • Panel Discussion: Practitioner’s View of Microgravity Research
  • Panel Discussion: Logistics and Tactical Approach to Research

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute is associated with the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center program, the Medical University of South Carolina and the MD Anderson Cancer Network. With sites in Spartanburg, Gaffney and Greer, it is a proven leader in providing effective cancer treatment through advanced technology, professional expertise and an exceptional level of personalized care.

To learn more or register, visit or call 864-560-6747.

For more information on the Space, Cancer & Personalized Medicine: Expanding the Horizons of Research conference, please contact Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s media pager at 864-253-7561.

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