Northwest Gynecological Cancer Symposium: Fostering Community and Collaboration in the Field of Gynecological Cancer

The Rivkin Center hosted nearly 90 scientists from across the Pacific Northwest for the second biennial Northwest Gynecological Cancer Symposium. The event was held at the University of Washington on September 25th, 2019. 

The symposium was designed to facilitate communication and foster collaboration between scientists in the region — all working towards ending ovarian and other gynecological cancers. For many veteran and junior investigators alike, the event is an opportunity to build their networks, meet potential mentors, and discuss current research and innovations that are happening in the field. 

Attendees heard fourteen presentations on prevention and detection, cancer mechanisms, management and resources, and therapeutics, as well as had the opportunity to view and discuss poster presentations. Rivkin Center awardees were highlighted at the symposium as moderators of all scientific sessions. Ronny Drapkin, MD/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania gave the keynote address on the trajectory of ovarian cancer from its origins in the fallopian tube, as well as hosted a trainee lunch with 20 junior investigators. The trainee lunch encouraged scientists who were new to the field to talk with a renowned researcher in a comfortable, informal setting.

“Dr. Drapkin was really open to talk about anything. Being able to ask him about his personal experiences earning his degree, his own mentors in the past, and career advice was invaluable.” – Isabella Stork, first-time NGCS attendee from Fred Hutch

While 88% of attendees thought that the breadth of research and quality of the presentations were excellent, the overwhelming feedback gathered in the post-event survey and verbally was on the importance of collaboration. Many researchers were excited to meet or catch up with other investigators and discuss collaborative plans to move ovarian and other gynecological cancer research forward. Others mentioned that their discussions led them to new ways of thinking about their current research. 

NGCS was started in 2017 as a complementary regional symposia to the Rivkin Center’s biennial international Ovarian Cancer Research Symposium, in an effort to bring researchers and clinicians together in an effort to further ovarian cancer research. Save the date for the 13th Biennial Ovarian Cancer Research Symposium in Seattle, WA on September 26-28, 2020.

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