Sept. 15, 2016:

Investigator spotlight

jean-grem-oncology-2013Jean Grem, MD, is professor of medicine and joined the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2003. Prior to joining UNMC, Dr. Grem was senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland since 1986. She became the gead of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Division, Cancer Therapeutics Branch at the National Cancer Institute in 2001. Dr. Grem is known nationally as an expert in gastrointestinal malignancies and is currently exploring several novel therapeutic approaches in both colon and pancreatic cancer at UNMC including targeting metabolic alternations to improve survival in pancreatic cancer as project four in UNMC’s pancreatic SPORE.

Dr. Grem has published more than 110 peer-reviewed articles in various cancer-related medical journals, reviews for various oncology and basic science journals, and has been invited to review grant applications in various funding agencies. She is part of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium clinical trial working group for gastrointestinal cancer.


Thought leader perspectives

Kenneth H. Cowan, MD, PhD, director of Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center (University of kenneth-cowanNebraska)

Cancer research continues to move toward precision cancer medicine. Using genomics and other new diagnostic tools, we will be able to employ precision medicine to customize therapies, care for each cancer patient individually, and ultimately improve outcomes. We are investing more efforts into personalized treatments.

Also, our translational science is well developed now with a team of scientists solely devoted to researching cancer and drug development. It is spurring new and innovative approaches to prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. In 2017, when we open the new cancer center, it will look even better as we will have lab scientists and clinical providers in one single location that is designed to spark collaboration and discovery. We also are working with all of the Big Ten CRC institutions to develop investigator-initiated early phase clinical trials and develop collaborative research programs.

Over the past year, we’ve had great growth in accruing patients for clinical trials. By strengthening our relationships with affiliate hospitals and physicians across the state of Nebraska and the Midwest we’re offering the needed access to clinical trials for the communities we serve. We also have partnerships in rural communities in our state and region to expand access to our clinical trials. And, with new trials being opened through the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium this past year and a half, our options for patients continues to evolve as well as the opportunities for junior faculty and more seasoned faculty to advance research programs.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit