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March 10, 2021 — 4:00pm - 4:45pm

Virtual Event

Brilliant Minds Webinar Series: “Colorectal Cancer Discoveries: From Bench to Bedside”


Register now to join us on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT for our next ICRF Presents: Brilliant Minds webinar. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and we’ll be speaking with ICRF-funded scientist Professor Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu of Tel Aviv University.


Rich Klein

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs) Patient, Diagnosed in 2007

Richard Klein was first diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) in September 2007. In Rich’s case, it was initially determined that he had “wild type” GIST which did not conform to the majority of GISTs. GIST is a rare cancer and Rich’s wild type is some of the rarest of the rare. Rich tried the standard drug programs for GIST of Gleevec followed by Sutent, but neither were effective. Since his diagnosis, Rich has been on 11 drug protocols, including a number of Phase 1 and 2 trials, undergone 7 GIST surgeries, proton therapy and visited 8 different cancer centers for treatments. Rich is a strong self advocate, something that all cancer patients should be but unfortunately that is not always the case. He is currently under treatment at UCSD Moore’s Cancer Center. His last GIST surgery in April 2019 was quite extensive, sadly resulting in a decrease in some quality of life. However, he remains cancer-free while taking adjuvant drugs that target melanoma and hopes that subsequent scans will continue to show no evidence of disease.

Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, PhD

Neuroimmological Research Unit, Tel Aviv University
ICRF Project Grant Recipient

Professor Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu‘s research focuses on the impact of stress, inflammatory responses and physiological trauma on immunity and on progression of cancer metastasis. His recent work has yielded a promising treatment to reduce the risk of metastases after surgery in colorectal patients, which is now being tested in a large-scale clinical study by his research group and other groups around the world.


Jason Sicklick, MD, FACS

Surgical Oncologist, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
Co-Chair, ICRF Scientific Review Panel B (Translational Grants)

Dr. Jason Sicklick is an NIH and FDA R01 funded investigator, Professor of Surgery, Executive Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery, and Co-Leader of the Sarcoma Disease Team at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He is a board-certified general surgeon and surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of complex retroperitoneal and abdominal sarcomas, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), as well as hepatobiliary oncology. He received his medical degree from the UCLA School of Medicine, completed his general surgery residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was the Administrative Chief Resident, and completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he was the Chief Administrative Fellow. He joined the UC San Diego Division of Surgical Oncology at Moores Cancer Center in 2010. His translational and clinical research focus on molecular mechanisms of GIST, as well as precision medicine approaches to cancer therapy for advanced cancers.

Nancy Maizels, PhD

Professor, Immunology and Biochemistry, University of Washington School of Medicine
Chair, ICRF International Scientific Council and Scientific Review Panel

Dr. Maizels was an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley. She received her PhD from Harvard University, and she continued at Harvard as a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows. She was a Professor in the Departments of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and Genetics at Yale University School of Medicine before coming to the University of Washington in fall, 2000. Professor Maizels serves as the Chair of the ICRF International Scientific Council and Scientific Review Panel (SRP).


Beta-blocker:  A drug that blocks the effects of adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) or noradrenaline.  Many high blood pressure medications are beta-blockers

Immunosuppression: Suppression of immune activity. Can be induced by numerous conditions, including stress and surgery

Inflammation: Redness, warmth or swelling that develops as part of defense of the body by the immune system. Inflammation can also spread throughout the body, and be manifested by changes in various hormones and cytokines. Inflammation can occur in response to infection, cancer or injury.

Metastasis: Development of secondary tumors at sites distant from the primary tumor

Phase I and Phase II Clinical Trials: Clinical trials of drugs are carried out in stages.  After a drug has been shown to be safe and effective in animals, it is tested for safety in people, starting at low doses.  Phase I trials test only safety.  In a Phase I trial, volunteers receive the drug at a range of doses and are watched for harmful side effects, but the effect of the drug on disease is not tested.  That is done in a Phase II trial.

All webinars in our Brilliant Minds series are complementary, but registration is required to receive Zoom access link. Attendees are invited to submit questions for our featured brilliant minds and speakers in advance during registration.

View the full ICRF Presents: Brilliant Minds webinar series, including past webinar recordings.

To learn about webinar and series sponsorship opportunities, please contact Alan Herman.

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