USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Community for a Cure

Community for a Cure is the official newsletter for the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris). Our dynamic newsletter keeps you up to date with everything happening at USC Norris. It features scientific discoveries from our exceptional researchers, inspiring patient stories, award recognitions of our faculty and staff, groundbreaking initiatives, new faculty spotlights,  developmental updates, and much more. 

Have something to contribute to Community for a Cure? Send it to Hinde Kast, Communications Coordinator, at

July/August 2021

Featured Stories

  • Chris Draft, NFL Football Player, presented a white ribbon to USC Norris 
  • Dr. Joseph Wiemels, member of the USC Norris Cancer Epidemiology Program, publishes new data that indicates inherited risk of early-onset cancer is higher amongst Latino, African American, and Asian/Pacific Islander families
  • Dr. Josh Neman, member of the USC Norris Tumor Microenvironment Program, published data demonstrating that a critical enzyme can be chemotherapeutically targeted to alleviate metastatic tumor burden on pediatric patients
  • Dr. Crystal Marconett, member of the USC Norris Genomic and Epigenomic Regulation Program, received grant to investigate how a specific form of RNA affects the relationship between DNA repair and immuno-therapeutic responses
  • Dr. David Freyer, member of the USC Norris Cancer Control Research Program, and his colleagues discovered that adolescents and young adults are less likely to present with metastatic disease for almost every cancer
  • Dr. Juliet Emamaullee, member of the USC Norris Tumor Microenvironment Program, has been awarded the 2021 Clinical Science Development Award
  • Staff Member of the Month: John Johnson, Research Lab Tech III/Supervisor 
  • Why Your Gifts Matter: David and Kirsten Muñoz

May/June 2021

Featured Stories

  • Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert to advance cancer equity at USC Norris 
  • Drs. Amir Goldkorn, Timothy Triche, and Vinay Duddalwar awarded a new multi-investigator R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute for translational biomarker studies in advanced prostate cancer
  • Dr. Rongfu Wang, co-leader of the USC Norris Tumor Microenvironment Program, identified specific bacteria and immune mechanisms that protect against colorectal cancer
  • Dr. Eugene Kim, USC Norris Tumor Microenvironment Program member, discovered a new approach to a deadly brain tumor in children
  • Dr. Amy Lee, associate director for shared resources at USC Norris, identified a key protein and regulator as a novel target to combat lung cancer
  • USC Norris members Drs. Hugo Rosen and Wendy Setiawan, co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program, received a major grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
  • Dr. Suhn Rhie, member of the Genomic and Epigenomic Regulation Program, received a grant from the Department of Defense to investigate changes in gene activity in men of African ancestry with prostate cancer
  • Dr. Sia Daneshmand, member of the Translational and Clinical Sciences Program, presented results of a multi-institutional phase II clinical trial of surgery in men with early metastatic testicular cancer
  • Staff Spotlight: Nancy Iwasaki, Accountant
  • Why Your Gifts Matter: Larry Freeman
  • Patient Story 

March/April 2021

Featured Stories

    • Dr. John Carpten elected to the 2021 class of fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy
    • Dr. Kimberly Miller, USC Norris Cancer Control Program member, awarded an NCI MERIT award to study how social health might contribute to health behaviors during treatment
    • Dr. Chintan Parekh, USC Norris Tumor Microenvironment Program member, received an NCI R01 grant to support his work in developing new cancer immunotherapies
    • Dr. Wendy Setiawan, co-leader of the USC Norris Cancer Epidemiology Program, received an NCI U01 grant to study to the determinants of endometrical cancer in African American women who suffer higher mortality from this disease
    • Dr. Janice Lu, USC Norris Translational and Clinical Sciences Program member, published the results of a new clinical trial for women with stage 2 or 3 breast cancer
    • The San Pedro Peninsula Cancer Guild
    • New Faculty Spotlight: Ming Li, PhD
    • Staff Spotlight: Alfred Ascencio, USC Norris Facilities Manager 

February 2021

Featured Stories

    • Dr. Amir Goldkorn, USC Norris Associate Director for Translational Research, publishes results from a national phase III trial in Clinical Cancer Research: “Baseline circulating tumor cell count as a prognostic marker of PSA response and disease progression in metastatic castrate sensitive prostate cancer”
    • USC Norris member Shannon Mumenthaler receives National Cancer Institute (NCI) R01 funding for her project to develop a micro-engineered colorectal cancer-on-a-chip model
    • USC Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer (AYA@USC) Program
    • USC Norris receives a new gift to provide genetic testing at no cost for patients without insurance coverage
    • Always Have Hope. As Long as You Live, There Is Hope.
    • New Faculty Spotlight: Mohamed Abou-el-Enein, MD, PhD, MSPH

January 2021

Featured Stories

    • NCCC investigators publish multicenter immunotherapy trial in cervical cancer patients
    • Dr. Crystal Nicole Marconett awarded Research  Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to support her research
    • Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Awards W. Martin Kast and his team the Team Science Award
    • Viewing Life through a Survivor’s Lens
    • Gene and Dodie Gregg Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund

November 2020

Featured Stories

    • Predicting Breast Cancer Recurrence: The Bench with Bedside Initiative™
    • Swing Against Cancer with Bill Poland
    • Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati earns AACR Distinguished Lectureship
    • New Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Tsui, PhD 

October 2020

Featured Stories

    • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center receives $5 million for cancer drug discoveries
    • NCI U54 CaRE2 Center for Health Equity
    • AACR Report on Cancer Disparities
    • New Faculty Spotlight: Steven Grossman, MD, PhD; Yali Dou, PhD