News & Events

Cancer Center Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Banner

The Cancer Center Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to hear about the interesting things taking place within the center, including center updates, collaborative opportunities, faculty research highlights, seed grant funding, and resources that are available to researchers.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, Room 3002
306 N Wright St
Urbana, IL 61801


Time Activity
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00 - 9:05 a.m. Welcome/Opening Remarks
Rex Gaskins, Associate Director for Education, Cancer Center at Illinois
9:05 - 9:30 a.m. Update on the Cancer Center at Illinois
Rohit Bhargava, Director, Cancer Center at Illinois

  • Introduction to Seed Grant Program
  • Benefiting from the Cancer Center
9:30 - 10:15 a.m. Panel Discussion: Clinical Collaborative Opportunities
Session Moderator: Timothy Fan, Professor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine

  • Kendrith Rowland, Director of Research, Carle Cancer Center
  • Bruce Brokstein, Director, NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center
  • James McGee, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
  • Crystal Reinhart, Member, Cancer Research Advocacy Group
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 - 11:15 a.m. New Resources for Cancer Center Members
Session Moderator: Joseph Irudayaraj, Professor, Bioengineering

  • Kimberly Selting, Associate Professor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine
    "Radiation Therapy in Companion Animals: A Win–Win Endeavor Helping Pets and the People Who Care for Them"
  • Timothy Fan, Professor, Bioengineering, and Joseph Irudayaraj, Professor, Bioengineering
    "Tumor Engineering Phenotyping Shared Resource—A New Collaborative Hub for Cancer Discoveries"
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Cancer Center Member Highlights
Session Moderator: David Kranz, Deputy Director, Cancer Center at Illinois

  • Zhi-Pei Liang, Professor, Electrical, and Computer Engineering
    "Ultrafast MR Spectroscopic Imaging: Spin Physics Meets Machine Learning to Enable Lable-Free Molecular Imaging
  • Aditi Das, Assistant Professor, Comparative Biosciences
    "Antitumorigenic Properties fo Endo Cannabinoids
  • Jason Ridlon, Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences
    "Bile Acid Metabolism by Gut Bacteria and Colorectal Cancer"
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Luncheon
Andreas C. Cangellaris, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • Remarks and Appreciation Ceremony


Rohit Bhargava
Director, Cancer Center at Illinois
BhargavaRohit Bhargava is the founding director of the CCIL and has led campus-wide efforts to organize it since 2010. His research is focused on developing chemical imaging for digital pathology, especially using label-free measures of the tumor microenvironment to understand cancer progression. Bhargava is well recognized for his seminal contributions to the development of infrared spectroscopic imaging and its application to cancer pathology. He has published more than 150 papers, spanning from fundamental theory to applications in cancer pathology.
Bruce Brockstein
Director, Kellogg Cancer Center, NorthShore University HealthSystem
brocksteinBruce Brockstein serves as the Division Head, Hematology/Oncology, and as the Director of the Kellogg Cancer Center, NorthShore University HealthSystem. He holds the Kellogg-Scanlon Chair in Oncology. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, he completed his internal medicine residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and hematology/fellowship at the University of Chicago. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. His areas of clinical and research specialties include head and neck cancer, sarcoma, melanoma, and immunotherapy.
Aditi Das
Assistant Professor, Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois
dasAditi Das in an Assistant Professor in Comparative Biosciences at the Veterinary School. She received her PhD in Chemistry at Princeton University. She did her postdoc work with Dr. Stephen Sligar at Northwestern University/University of Ilinois. She is an affiliate faculty in the Department of Biochemistry, Department of Bioengineering, Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Neuroscience Program, and the Beckman Institute. Her research examinea the metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids to produce novel lipid metabolites that exhibit diverse physiology in humans and animals.
Timothy Fan
Professor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine
fanTimothy Fan received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995 completed his clinical training in Internal Medicine and Oncology from 1995-2000. Following the completion of Dr. Fan’s clinical training, he pursued and completed a PhD in Tumor Immunology from 2000-2007, whereby he investigated the anticancer effects of cytokine manipulation strategies for the treatment of locally-invasive and metastatic tumors in mouse models of disease. Upon completion of his PhD in 2007, Dr. Fan now serves as the principal investigator of the Comparative Oncology Research Laboratory housed in the Small Animal Clinic, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, and he is a core faculty member for the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Anticancer Discovery from Pets to People Theme. Dr. Fan’s training as a scientist and veterinarian has allowed him the opportunity to rapidly investigate and translate novel treatment strategies in dogs with spontaneously arising cancers and conduct meaningful comparative oncology research which is hoped to eventually aid in treating cancer in not only companion animals but also human beings.
Rex Gaskins
Associate Director for Education, Cancer Center at Illinois
rexRex Gaskins is the Associate Director for Education within the Cancer Center at Illinois. He has appointments in the Departments of Animal Sciences and Pathobiology, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Research in his laboratory focuses on host-intestinal microbe interactions relevant to colorectal cancer with a particular interest in microbial sulfur metabolism. He also serves as Deputy Director of the NIH-supported Tissue Microenvironment Training Program.
Joseph Irudayaraj
Professor, Bioengineering
irudayarajJoseph Irudayaraj is a prolific researcher in the biomedical imaging and nanosensor technology fields. His research interests are in developing single cell technologies and nanoparticle biosensors for the quantification of mRNA expression, cell surface markers, and phosphorylation in live cells and higher-order organisms to elucidate mechanisms related to epigenetics and cell signaling. Irudayaraj’s research group collaborates with a range of disciplines, including several international projects. Along with his research group, he has developed a highly sensitive paper-based point of care devices for the visual screening of cancer, in particular, cervical cancer. They are working with clinical partners to evaluate the host-microbiome link that triggers prostate cancer recurrence. Dr. Irudayaraj has training in Biosystems Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Biological Engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and was awarded the Young Engineer of the Year Award by American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. A recipient of the Purdue University Faculty Scholar Award, the College of Engineering Researcher of the Year Award, Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy Fellow, and Seed for Success Award.
Zhi-Pei Liang
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
liangZhi-Pei Liang received his PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1989. He subsequently joined the University of Illinois as a postdoctoral fellow (working with the late Nobel Laureate Paul Lauterbur) and then as a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Liang is currently the Franklin W. Woeltge Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; he also co-chairs the Integrative Imaging Theme in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.   Dr. Liang’s research is in the general area of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, ranging from spin physics, signal processing, machine learning, to biomedical applications. 
James McGee
Medican Director of Radiation Oncology, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
mcgeeJames McGee is the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology—OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. His areas of interest include body and brain stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), pediatric oncology and High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy. He holds professional memberships in the American Society for Radiation Oncology, American College of Radiation Oncology, European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, and the American Brachytherapy Society.
Kendrith Rowland
Director of Research, Carle Cancer Center
rowlandKendrith Rowland is the Director of Research at the Carle Cancer Center. His medical interests include general oncology, breast cancer, and novel therapeutics. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is the principal investigator on a grant from the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) which is a national network of cancer care investigators.
Jason Ridlon
Assistant Professor Animal Sciences
ridlonJason Ridlon is an Assistant Professor in Animal Sciences. He research is focused on helping to find treatment strategies to improve human health and animal well-being. He studies gut microbiology, specifically the biochemistry and molecular biology of steroid and bile acid biotransformations by the gut microbiota. He aims to understand how microbial metabolites promote gastrointestinal tract diseases such as liver and colorectal cancers, as well as essential hypertension.
Crystal Reinhart
Research Program Coordinator, Center for Prevention Research and Development
reinhartCrystal Reinhart is an acute myeloid leukemia survivor and Research Program Coordinator at the Center for Prevention Research and Development. She is an active member of the Cancer Research Advocacy Group which was co-founded by Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and the Director of Women’s Health, Hormones and Nutrition lab) and Erik Nelson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology).
Kimberly Selting
Associate Professor of Oncology, Veterinary Clinical Medicine
seltingKimberly Selting is an Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine. Dr. Selting is board-certified in both veterinary medical and radiation oncology and was on faculty at the University of Missouri from 2002-2017. Her primary focus is on the development of a radiation oncology program to support the new veterinary radiation facility that will be equipped with a Varian TrueBeam® linear accelerator (anticipated completion date April 2019).