The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Alumni Research Network (AARN), a group of current and former ABTA grantees, held their annual meeting in Chicago September 5th – 7th. The meeting is held each year for members to meet, network, share experiences and resources, and learn from leaders in the field of brain tumor research.
The 2018 meeting was organized by member co-chairs Renee Read, PhD from Emory University, and Derek Wainwright, PhD from Northwestern University and focused on a range of scientific and career development topics through presentations given by leaders in the brain tumor field. AARN members, ranging from postdoctoral fellows to professors, were updated on advances in brain tumor treatments from David Reardon, MD from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Roger Stupp, MD, Northwestern Medicine and learned about incorporating genomic analyses into their research from Roel Verhaak, PhD from The Jackson Laboratories.
“This meeting allowed me to establish new collaborations and also helped me to refine my research.”
The career development components of the meeting focused on applying for government funding in a presentation from William Timmer, PhD at the National Cancer Institute, and dealing with career stress and burnout led by Warren Holleman, PhD from MD Anderson Cancer Center. A panel including Linda Liau, MD, PhD, MBA, University of California Los Angeles, and Dan Brat, MD, Northwestern University discussed the leadership role of heading an academic department. AARN member attendees also enjoyed sharing their own experiences in mentoring others, being mentored, building their labs, and building collaborations.
“The AARN meetings continue to help us stay on top of the relevant topics in the field and to grow as brain tumor researchers.”
Throughout the meeting, attendees had time to discuss their own research and make connections within the group while starting new collaborations to advance the field.
“The value of these meetings is already evident in the success of those who have been attending and this will only continue.”