Category: ASPO Blog

Happy New Year!

I hope the holidays provided you with a break from your work and time to spend with friends and family. Our work is vital, but everyone needs a break from the action from time to time!

The fall and winter have been busy for ASPO. Kate Weaver and Tim Rebbeck, along with the rest of the program committee and abstract reviewers, have been diligently scoring abstracts. We received 267 abstracts this year, the second highest number in ASPO history. The program that the committee has planned is packed with great programming – check out the latest version. I look forward to seeing you in Tucson!

One new feature in the program is a Community & Science program for the Community Outreach and Engagement staff from the cancer centers. Applications for this program are due on Jan 31, and the application is on the ASPO annual meeting page. Participants in the Community & Science program will have dedicated programming on Sunday afternoon and at a Monday breakfast session, and they will be participating in the rest of the meeting as well – including a special lunch session on Tuesday that will provide early stage investigators an opportunity to get feedback on their research from Community & Science participants. We also will be asking for investigators to serve as partners for the Community & Science participants, to facilitate bi-directional learning between community-engaged staff and cancer prevention researchers. Watch your email and the website for an invitation to apply for this opportunity.

We have also been busy recruiting a new management company for ASPO. Our RFP was made public in November, and we had quite a robust response – 24 applications. I am confident that we will be able to find a great company to help ASPO move forward. I expect we will have a company selected and starting the transition process by the time of the annual meeting. I want to thank our executive committee (Elena Martinez, Peter Kanetsky, Sandi Pruitt, Li Li, and Shine Chang) and members of the ad hoc selection committee (Carolyn Fang, Les Robison, Amy Trentham-Dietz, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, and Hedi Sahel) for the wisdom and time they have provided to this critical project.

Finally, I want to add my voice of thanks to Heidi Sahel for her years of service and dedication to ASPO. She has ably served our organization, not just with efficiency, organization, and expertise, but with warmth and friendship that has been so important to the culture of ASPO and the sense of belonging expressed by members. Heidi, we will miss you greatly, but are happy for you as you start this next chapter. We wish you fun and relaxation, and more winters spent under warm sunny skies!

Karen Basen-Engquist

Happy Summer, ASPO!

Happy Summer, ASPO!

I wanted to start out by telling you how excited I am to be your president for the next two years. ASPO has always been an organization that has meant a lot to me, because of the science it has exposed me to and the networks it has helped me develop. I know I hear similar things from many of you, and our past president Peter Kanetsky outlined this nicely in his recent presidential address. I am honored to be helping to support that legacy and look forward to continuing to help ASPO sustain its mission of fostering “the development of investigators and other professionals involved in cancer prevention and control, and the exchange and translation of scientific information to reduce cancer burden.” My priorities for the next year are to develop a plan for ongoing management of ASPO, increase the activity and visibility of our communication channels (i.e., Twitter, ASPO pages in CEBP, website, and Facebook page), and to develop a plan to increase membership. I welcome your input on ASPO’s direction and activities over the next two years. I will be periodically posting blogs on the website to keep you updated on ASPO activities. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (k_basenengquist), comment on the blog post, or send me an email at [email protected].

I’m still coming off the high of the recent ASPO meeting. Many thanks to Jasmin Tiro and Hazel Nichols for their leadership of the program committee, and to all the program committee members for their hard work in putting a great program together. The program evaluation indicated that 94% thought the meeting was excellent or above average. We are now in the midst of planning for the 2020 meeting in Tucson, with the program committee ably led by Drs. Kate Weaver and Tim Rebbeck.  They just held the first program committee about a week ago, and discussed some great ideas for symposium topics. If you have ideas for the meeting that you’d like to share with the program committee, do so as soon as possible – they have to get much of the program planned before the middle of July so that we can put in the NCI conference grant. The program committee members are Tomi Akinyemiju, Amit Algotar, Hoda Badr, Michele Cote, Tracy Crane, Carolyn Fang, Erin Kent, Lorna McNeill, Sandi Pruitt, Benjamin Rybicki, Stephanie Schmit, Alexandra White and Amy Trentham-Dietz.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to working with you over the next two years!