Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Cancer & Aging IDEAS Lab



Leveraging Northwestern’s Transdisciplinary Expertise to Prevent, Slow, or Remediate Accelerated Aging Due to Cancer and its Treatment

IDEAS Labs engage interdisciplinary research teams to tackle wicked problems by exploring new ways re-envision, study, and generate novel solutions to those problems. More than 2 dozen basic biological scientists, clinician researchers, behavioral scientists, and computer scientists will meet weekly between January 11 – March 1, 2021 to tackle the following problem:

The Research Challenge: Cancer, its treatments, its comorbidities, and health risk factors (e.g., obesity, physical inactivity, smoking) contribute to synergistic biologic challenges that confront the large and growing number of cancer survivors, paving the way toward premature functional capacity declines and the onset of frailty.

The Opportunity: Given the deep bench of relevant expertise at Northwestern, if there were no technical, logistic, or financial obstacles, what could we do together to slow the trajectory of accelerated aging in cancer, thereby reducing dysfunction and health care costs, while improving quality of life?

Funding Opportunity: Participants will be eligible to apply for a Translational Bridge Award funded by the Lurie Cancer Center.

Steering Committee

  • Bonnie Spring, PhD (Cancer Prevention Lead)
  • Christine Rini, PhD (Cancer Control Lead)
  • Kathy Green, PhD (Basic Science Director)
  • Marcelo Bonini, PhD (Associated Director for Education and Training)
  • June McKoy, MD, MPH, JD, MBA (Geriatric Oncology Director)
  • Sheetal Kircher, MD, MSc (Survivorship Medical Director)
  • Siobhan Phillips, PhD, MPH (Physical Activity Lead)
  • Sofia Garcia, PhD (Cancer Survivorship Research Lead)
  • Tammy Stump, PhD (Research Professor, MSS)
  • Ann Marie Flores, PhD, PT (Physical therapist expert in rehabilitation)

Coordinating Committee

  • Lifang Hou MD, PhD (Director, Center for Molecular Aging and Cancer) 
  • Richard I. Morimoto, PhD (Director, Proteostasis Institute on Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease)
  • Michael Wolf, PhD (Director, Center for Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA)) 

Internal Advisory Group

  • Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD (Lurie Cancer Center Director) 
  • Nausheen Akhter, MD (Director of Cardio-Oncology, a collaboration between Lurie Cancer Center and Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute) 
  • David Cella, PhD (Cancer Prevention and Control Director)

Supported in part by NCI grant P30CA60553-S

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