What a week! Our 2018 Nanocourse wrapped up last week, and what an amazing week it was. For those of you who are curious, the cc-TDI Nanocourse is a week-long, immersive “boot camp” for families touched by childhood cancer. The goal of the Pediatric Cancer Nanocourse is to train members of the public to be informed liaisons between childhood cancer researchers and the community. We want to send along a huge thank you to the Kuni Foundation for their very generous sponsorship of our Nanocourse! This year’s Nanocourse focused on Epithelioid Sarcoma (EPS), Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), and Hepatoblastoma (HB) and features of the course included:

  • A didactic overview of childhood cancer treatment, biology, pathology, and clinical trials with lectures by world renowned researchers
  • An introduction to the scientific research process: how research works, what barriers exist, and how to overcome challenges and make progress on rare childhood cancers

  • Lectures on Epithelioid Sarcoma (EPS), Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), and Hepatoblastoma (HB)
  • Daily mentorship and hands-on opportunities to shadow our research scientists in the laboratory
  • A self-selected group research project, with the opportunity to collaborate with fellow participants
  • the opportunity to build a network of informed and empowered advocates who can drive the cure of rare cancers

Previous course members have had their findings published in peer-reviewed scientific literature! This group was amazing and used the last day to present the roadmap for helping to advance research in EPS, RMS, HB and Clear Cell Sarcoma. The Rhabdomyosarcoma small group, led by the youngest member of the Nanocourse 11 year old Calleigh, even designed a t-shirt to help fundraise for rhabdo research!

It was an emotional week for all of us, and I know I speak for Team cc-TDI when I say that the energy, passion, kindness, intelligence and drive of this group was inspiring and motivating for us. Together we can achieve so much! #letsdobetter

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