ABC ² has always believed in the power of convening. Our scientific meetings have not only helped educate us, they have formed an important cornerstone for the growth of the modern brain cancer research and treatment community. However, in recent years many new meetings have sprung up, not only in the US but around the world.
So, we went to our trusted key leaders and asked them to identify young and emerging brain cancer researchers and clinicians who they felt had potential to make major impacts in the field going forward. We then invited 25 of those emerging leaders to join us for a two day Brain Cancer Strategy Workshop on October 10-11, 2018.
We held the workshop at the Case Foundation conference room where everyone could gather together in a collegial environment to hear their peers talk about their coolest new science. We talked with each participant in advance and urged them to look out the windshield, not the rearview mirror. We encouraged them to talk about the ideas that fire them up and to use this as an opportunity to not just show their coolest science, but to also offer handholds for ongoing collaboration.
We invited some of our senior scientific friends to attend the workshop as ”counselors” to assist in providing questions, guidance and context. Jeremy Rich flew in from UCSD, Keith Ligon from Dana Farber, Greg Riggins from Johns Hopkins and Al Baldwin from UNC. We also were fortunate to have Ned Sharpless, the Director of the NCI, join us for a good part of the first day.
We emphasized throughout that while one goal was to discuss great science, the second goal, perhaps even more important than the first, was to help build a group of friends and colleagues who could work together for the next 30 years to drive the field. The group really got this and saw this as a rare opportunity. Many new friendships and collaborations have already come from this and we are watching to see how we might nurture these going forward. We have talked with NCI about the possibility of joining together to fund projects and spinout meetings and we are already planning a follow-on meeting for next year.
We appreciate the Case Foundation’s sharing their space with us. We were grateful to have ABC2's co-founder, Jean Case, make welcoming remarks to the group. We also thank the Dan and Stacey Case Family Foundation for providing financial support for this meeting.