Bidens’ Cancer Moonshot Summit to Bring National Cancer Community Together

Posted on June 24th, 2016 by msequeira

UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Invited Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, DC, and local summit to be held Wednesday, June 29


Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will host a Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C. at the White House. Cheryl Willman, MD, Director and CEO of The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, will attend.

At the same time, the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center will host a local Cancer Moonshot Summit. Local summits will take place in 99 other locations throughout the United States. Vice President Biden will address the summits in a video.


The Cancer Moonshot Summit will bring together leaders from sectors that have a role to play in making progress on the Cancer Moonshot goals, to share new ideas and to launch new collaborations.

President Barack Obama launched the initiative on Jan. 12 during his State of the Union Address. Vice President Joe Biden is leading the initiative. The vice president is working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to increase research funding and accelerate cancer discoveries.

The Vice President lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015. His wife, Second Lady Jill Biden, PhD, started the Biden Breast Health Initiative in Delaware in 1993 after four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The UNM Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated cancer center within a 500-mile radius. It serves the entire state of New Mexico, which has a unique and rural population. The UNM Cancer Center has made several breakthroughs in cancer research, including breakthroughs in nanotechnology, cancer care delivery, and using genomics to personalize medicine.

At the Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, DC, Willman will share research ideas and collaboration opportunities with others throughout the country.

The local summit will feature a panel of cancer scientists who will talk about cancer research in New Mexico; bringing the newest, most advanced treatments to our state; and how the Cancer Moonshot initiative will help New Mexicans with cancer.


Cheryl Willman, MD

Cheryl Willman, MD

Cheryl L. Willman, MD, has served as director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center since 1999. She is a distinguished professor of pathology and internal medicine at the UNM School of Medicine, where she holds the Maurice and Marguerite Liberman Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research. She is an internationally recognized leukemia researcher, whose work now focuses on the use of comprehensive genomic technologies to identify novel targets for improved diagnosis, risk classification and therapy, and the translation of these new targets to diagnostics, therapeutics and clinical trials.

Where and When

The Cancer Moonshoot Summit will take place Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

The local summit will take place Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center
1201 Camino de Salud, NE, Albuquerque, NM  87102


Please contact Dorothy Hornbeck at James Korenchen Public Relations: 505-340-5929,

View media interviews and submit your cancer research ideas to the vice president's Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts.

About the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in a 500-mile radius. One of the premier cancer centers nationwide, the UNM CCC has 125 board-certified oncology physicians, forming New Mexico’s largest cancer care team. It treats about 60 percent of adults and virtually all the children in New Mexico diagnosed with cancer — more than 10,000 people— from every county in the state in more than 135,000 clinic visits each year. Through its partnership with the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance, an “exemplary national model for cancer health care delivery,” the UNM CCC offers access to more than 175 clinical trials to New Mexicans in every part of the state. Annual research funding of more than $72 million supports the UNM CCC’s 129 cancer scientists. Working with partners at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, and New Mexico State University, they have developed new diagnostics and drugs for leukemia, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, liver and pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, and melanoma; garnered 33 new patents and 117 patents pending; and launched 13 new biotechnology companies since 2010. Learn more at


UNM Cancer Center contact information

Dorothy Hornbeck, JKPR, 505-340-5929,
Michele Sequeira, UNM Cancer Center, 505-925-0486,



Tags: cancer research

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