December 23, 2020:

In a recent holiday post on his blog Holden the Line on Cancer, George Weiner, MD, director of the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, reflects on the resilience, creativity, and enduring commitment that has kept research collaborations strong throughout this tumultuous year. As one example, Dr. Weiner writes about the newly introduced Big Ten CRC Grand Rounds:

“One of the primary goals of an academic cancer center is to train the next generation of cancer clinicians and researchers. Our approach to such education has been changed, but not halted, by the pandemic. I continue to have weekly meetings with my research group by Zoom. In fact, my clinical research colleagues are more likely to participate virtually in these meetings now since they can do so from their offices or clinic and don’t have to walk to the other side of the medical center. I continue to meet weekly with graduate students in my laboratory. This has worked fairly well. It has become a standing joke that just about every Zoom meeting starts with a graduate student asking me to ‘enable screen sharing’ so we can review their data and plans together. Grand rounds and other conferences including tumor board discussions are held virtually as well. Not ideal but it works. As we all have gotten used to virtual conferences, we realized such meetings don’t need to be limited to a single institution. Holden suggested and organized the first Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Grand Rounds that is a virtual meeting now held monthly. Typical attendance over the past few months has included around 100 researchers from multiple institutions. New collaborations between cancer centers in the Big Ten are starting to emerge from these discussions. Hopefully Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Grand Rounds will continue post-pandemic and be seen as a silver lining that emerged from this very difficult time.”

To read Dr. Weiner’s full post, check out his blog: Holden the Line on Cancer.


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 more than 9,800 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