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Annual Symposium

Most RECENT Symposium

October 7, 2022
11th Annual Symposium:
Overcoming the Cancer Health Equity Chasm: The Way Forward
Time: 1:00 PM–3:30 PM
Keynote: Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD
Location: UChicago Medical Campus, Rubenstein Forum
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Dr. Kunle Odunsi is the Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC), and Dean for Oncology, Biological Services Division at the University of Chicago.

As the Director of UCCCC, he has strategic and broad oversight responsibility for all programmatic aspects of cancer at the University of Chicago including the three primary missions of research, patient care and education. Dr. Odunsi sets the strategic direction of UCCCC, which emphasizes basic, translational and clinical research efforts, collaborative cancer discovery and care, outreach to and engagement of the catchment area, and expansion of development opportunities for early career and promising cancer researchers.

His transition to UCCCC brings his experience as Deputy Director of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2015-2021 where he also served as the Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology, and the Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy. As Deputy Director, Dr. Odunsi provided operational oversight for the scientific, clinical research and educational missions of Roswell Park, and monitored all research-related initiatives, steering development of strategies, programs and policies designed to transfer scientific discoveries to clinical settings.

His research activities in tumor immunology and immunotherapy have focused upon the mechanisms of immune recognition in human ovarian cancer and the pre- clinical and clinical development of tumor antigen targeted therapies. These research activities have been supported by multi-investigator and often multi-institutional awards from the Cancer Research Institute / Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and by the NIH.

Dr. Odunsi was also Principal Investigator of the Roswell Park Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Ovarian Cancer (P50CA159981), and a New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM) to pioneer a novel adoptive T cell therapy concept of reprograming human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (hHSC) for continuous generation of long lived and durable antigen-specific T cells for sustained anti-tumor response in ovarian cancer patients. As PI of a T32 training grant in surgical oncology at Roswell Park, he has considerable experience mentoring students, post- doctoral fellows, and junior faculty.

As the Director of UCCCC, Dr. Odunsi is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and plans to build a culture of inclusive excellence, and facilitate the recruitment and mentorship of a pipeline of world-class cancer physicians and scientists from underrepresented populations.

PAST Symposium

October 8, 2021
10th Annual Symposium: The Doctor-Patient Relationship: Race, Equity and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Keynote: Monica Peek, MD (Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago)
Location: Webinar
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Dr. Monica Peek is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, where works as a clinician, ethicist, and health services researcher. Dr. Peek is the Director of Research (and Associate Director) at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, the Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, and the Executive Medical Director of Community Health Innovation. Her research pursues health equity and social justice, with a focus on promoting shared decision-making among marginalized patient populations, integrating the medical and social needs of patients, and addressing healthcare discrimination and structural racism that impact health outcomes (e.g., diabetes, COVID-19). She served on the Racial Equity Rapid Response (RERR) Team for COVID-19 Disparities for the City of Chicago and the COVID-19 Crisis Standards of Care Working Group for the state of Illinois.

Dr. Peek has served as the principal investigator of multiple grants from institutions such as the Greenwall Foundation, NIH/NIDDK, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Merck Foundation. Dr. Peek is a Senior Associate Editor for the journal Health Services Research, a member of the Executive Council for the American Diabetes Association and member of the national Advisory Board for Physicians for Human Rights. She is a previous member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) and the National Council for the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM).

Dr. Peek was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” in Chicago and has been ranked among Chicago’s Top Physicians. She has been featured in national media outlets such as NPR, PRI/The World, CNN, and TIME Magazine.