International leaders in various fields of cancer research, science, and medicine will convene at the 14th Annual Weinman Symposium, January 25–27 at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center. Among the 26 scientists from Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are Nobel laureates Bruce Beutler, William Kaelin, Jr., Craig Mello, and a standing member of the Nobel committee, Qiang Pan-Hammarström.
Founded in 2010, thanks to a generous donation from Barry and Virginia Weinman, this three-day conference organized by a committee of researchers at the UH Cancer Center brings together experts from around the world to share their research, learn from each other, and work collaboratively to test new hypotheses and ideas generated during the symposium.
Theme and Weinman Award honoree
The theme of this year’s symposium centers on the role of genes and environment in cancer, also referred to as Gene Environment interaction. Each year, one or more scientists receive the Weinman Award to acknowledge their efforts in the field of science.
Renowned Dutch geneticist, Hans Clevers, will be honored at this year’s conference with the Weinman Award for developing human organoids (three-dimensional tissue cultures grown from stem cells) that predict function of rare cell types. These organoids also help track drug response in patients with cystic fibrosis—a genetic disorder that causes problems with breathing and digestion. Among other achievements, Clevers has led research in stem cell biology and colorectal cancer. His work has resulted in 780 published articles that have been cited over 160,000 times. He is currently head of pharma research and early development as well as a member of the Enlarged Corporate Executive Committee of F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, in Basel, Switzerland.
Gov. Josh Green will attend the final day of the conference, as well as students from ʻIolani, Punahou, and Roosevelt High Schools.
“The three-day conference is a great opportunity for scientists and students in Hawaiʻi to learn and discuss science with some of the best scientists in the world,” said Michele Carbone, chair of the organizing committee and researcher at UH Cancer Center.