Scientific Symposium Draws World Leaders in Cancer Research

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Pennington Biomedical Looks to Unify Efforts to Eliminate Obesity-Related Cancers
Released: Thursday, December 05, 2019

Baton Rouge, Louisiana — Seventeen of the most respected scientists in the cancer research world discussed leading-edge science, innovation and future directions during a two-day, international scientific symposium hosted this week by LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Pennington Biomedical is one of the world’s top obesity research centers. The 2019 Scientific Symposium, “The Role of Obesity in Cancer Prevention and Control,” was the institution’s first to focus on cancer. Obesity has been linked to 14 deadly cancers. 

“This symposium offers proof of Pennington Biomedical’s commitment to lead international efforts to identify innovative methods to break the link between obesity and cancer,” said Justin Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director, Cancer Metabolism Program at Pennington Biomedical. “The scientific collaborations and research that will occur because of this symposium will have tremendous impact on reducing the negative effects of obesity on cancer risk and cancer death.”

“One of Pennington Biomedical’s goals for improving the health of Louisiana’s residents, and the world’s, is to find solutions and treatments and potentially cures for 14 deadly cancers that have been linked to obesity and weight gain,” said John Kirwan, PhD, and Executive Director. “Bringing together world leaders in cancer research to discuss future avenues of investigation and treatment is a good way to begin.”

The symposium was co-chaired by Justin Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director, Cancer Metabolism Program at Pennington Biomedical; and Augusto Ochoa, MD, Director, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, LSU Health New Orleans, School of Medicine.

Speakers and topics included:

  • Augusto Ochoa, MD, Director, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, LSU Health New Orleans, School of Medicine, Introduction and Overview
  • Steven Heymsfield, MD, Professor, Pennington Biomedical, The Evolution of Obesity: From Risk Factor to Disease
  • Peter Katzmarzyk, PhD, Associate Executive Director of Public Health and Population Sciences, Pennington Biomedical, Shared Risk Factors for Obesity and Cancer – Implications for Prevention
  • Gosse Adema, PhD, Professor, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegan, The Netherlands: Lipids as Immune Modulators in Myeloid Cells in Cancer
  • Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, PhD, Professor, University of Utah: Obesity and High-Fat Diet Drive Tumor Progression by Facilitating Immune Suppression
  • Fokhrul Hossain, PhD, Instructor, LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Obesity
  • Stephen Hursting, PhD, Professor, University of North Carolina, A Preclinical Perspective on Breaking the Link Between Obesity and Cancer
  • Marcus DaSilva Goncalves, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, The Importance of the PI3K Pathway in Obesity and Cancer
  • Maria Sanchez-Pino, PhD, Assistant Professor, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Impact of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery On Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Chronic Inflammation
  • Pamela Goodwin, MD, Professor, University of Toronto Lifestyle and Pharmacologic Interventions for Weight Loss in Oncology
  • Daniel Schauer, MD, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati Bariatric Surgery and Cancer Risk: An Epidemiologic Perspective
  • Melinda Stolley, PhD, Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, Lifestyle Interventions for Diverse Cancer Survivor Populations
  • Rick Kittles, PhD, Professor, City of Hope Cancer Center, The Utility of Genetic Ancestry in Health Disparities Studies
  • Denise Danos, PhD, Assistant Professor, LSU Health New Orleans, School of Public Health, Neighborhood Social Determinants of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Victoria Seewaldt, MD, Professor, City of Hope Cancer Center, Obesity, Insulin-Resistance, and Aggressive Breast Cancer Biology: Different Diseases - Same Signaling Pathways
  • Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Georgetown University Medical Center, The Effect of an Exercise RCT on MetS in Black Women by Family History and Predicted Breast Cancer Risk: The FIERCE Study
  • Justin Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director, Cancer Metabolism Program, Pennington Biomedical, The State-of-the-Science, Innovation, and Future Directions of the Field

The scientific symposium was sponsored by BlueCross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation.



About LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center

LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. The center conducts basic, clinical and population research, and is affiliated with Louisiana State University. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 450 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physician/scientists are supported by research trainees, lab technicians, nurses, dietitians and other support personnel. Pennington Biomedical is located in state-of-the-art research facilities on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.