University of Vermont

The University of Vermont Cancer Center

VCC Symposium Features NCI Director Harold Varmus, M.D.

Harold Varmus, M.D.

The Vermont Cancer Center at the University of Vermont (UVM) and Fletcher Allen Health Care held the 2011 Clinical & Translational Research Symposium on November 10, 2011 in the Grand Maple Ballroom in the Davis Center on the UVM campus. A special presentation was delivered by J. Walter Juckett Distinguished Lecturer Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health at the end of the symposium.

Co-chaired by Susan Wallace, Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology and molecular genetics, and Joann Sweasy, Ph.D., professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale University School of Medicine and adjunct professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at UVM, the free day-long event was titled “DNA Repair & Cancer.” Sessions focused on understanding of the role that DNA repair plays in maintaining the integrity of the genome, and how failure in DNA repair has been linked to both sporadic and familial forms of cancer. The symposium also featured discussion of the new therapies that have been developed to target DNA repair pathways and address both basic mechanisms of DNA repair, and new avenues to translate this knowledge into diagnosis and treatment. A poster session took place during lunchtime. Two categories of awards – pre-doc/post-doc and faculty/staff – were presented.

Varmus, a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, became director of the National Cancer Institute on July 12, 2010, after 10 years as president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and six years as director of the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and is involved in several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries. The author of over 350 scientific papers and five books, including a recent memoir, titled “The Art and Politics of Science,” Varmus served as co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as co-founder and chairman of the board of the Public Library of Science, and chaired the Scientific Board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health.

The symposium is supported by the Lake Champlain Cancer Research Organization. For more information, visit or contact Charles Brooks at 802-656-2176 or .