TiME Day

TiME Day Symposium | Thursday, March 9, 2023

The Tissue Microenvironment (TiME) Day Symposium will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, in 1005 Beckman and the Beckman atrium.

Registration required: go.illinois.edu/TiMEDay


Time start Time end Topic
8:15 AM 9:00 AM Registration, breakfast, and poster setup
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Welcome: Rohit Bhargava, Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) Director, and H. Rex Gaskins, CCIL Associate Director for Education
9:15 AM 9:20 AM Introduction / Speaker Change
9:20 AM 10:00 AM Plenary Talk 1: Daniel A. Heller and Q&A
10:00 AM 10:05 AM Introduction / Speaker Change
10:05 AM 10:45 AM Plenary Talk 2: Erik Nelson and Q&A
10:45 AM 10:50 PM Break
10:50 PM 10:55 PM Introduction / Speaker Change
10:55 PM 12:00 PM Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kunle Odunsi and Q&A
12:00 PM 2:00 PM Lunch with poster session (all posters, TiME and non-TiME)
2:00 PM 2:05 PM Introduction
2:05 PM 2:55 PM TiME Lighting Talks 
2:55 PM 3:00 PM Break
3:00 PM 3:40 PM Plenary talk 3: Wawosz Dobrucki and Q&A 
3:40 PM 4:00 PM Award ceremony and closing remarks, with light dessert


Keynote Speaker: Kunle Odunsi, M.D., Ph.D., AbbVie Foundation Distinguished Service Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Medicine, Director of Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, Dean for Oncology, Biological Sciences Division, Director of University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Odunsi is a gynecologic oncologist who specializes in the treatment of ovarian cancer. As a nationally recognized expert in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy for cancer, Dr. Odunsi’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune recognition and tolerance in ovarian cancer and translating these findings to immunotherapy clinical trials. He pioneered the development of antigen-specific vaccine therapy and “next generation” adoptive T-cell immunotherapies to prolong remission rates in women with ovarian cancer. Dr. Odunsi has received many honors and awards for his work, including election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2018 and the Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Award in 2019. He has authored or co-authored more than 360 publications and contributed to several books and book chapters. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Research Institute and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Alliance, among others. He serves or has served on 10 editorial boards and multiple NIH study sections, and held numerous visiting professorships and guest lectureships. He also holds leadership positions in several national organizations, such as co-chair of the NCI Cancer Moonshot Immuno-Oncology Translational Network and chairperson-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Immunology Working Group.

Plenary Speaker: Daniel A. Heller, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Bristol-Myers Squibb/ James D. Robinson III Junior Faculty Chair, , Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University

Heller’s lab focuses on the development of nanoscale technologies for the treatment, diagnosis, and research of cancer. Heller obtained his Bachelor’s degree in History from Rice University in 2000 and PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010, working in the laboratory of Michael Strano. Heller completed a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of Robert Langer at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT in 2012. He is a 2012 recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, a 2015 Kavli Fellow, a 2017 recipient of the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, a 2018 American Cancer Society Research Scholar, a 2018 NSF CAREER Awardee, a 2018 recipient of the CRS Nanomedicine and Nanoscale Drug Delivery Focus Group Junior Faculty Award, the 2020 Pharmacology Teaching and Mentoring Awardee from Weill Cornell Graduate School, and a 2021 American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellow.

Plenary Speaker: Erik Nelson, Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Affiliate Member of the Cancer Center at Illinois, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the University of Illinois Cancer Center (Chicago), and the Anticancer Discovery from Pets to People research theme within the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

Nelson is a trained endocrinologist with specific expertise in nuclear receptor pharmacology. He has made significant contributions to the fields of reproductive physiology, pharmacology, bone biology and cancer biology. Breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. For this reason, Nelson integrated his expertise in physiology, endocrinology, and in vivo models to pursue translational breast cancer research. The overarching goal of the Nelson lab’s research is to develop novel chemopreventative strategies and lifestyle changes aimed at reducing cancer incidence and mortality. Nelson has been named the 2020-2021 Gunsalus Scholar by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for his work on cholesterol metabolism and cancer. Nelson was also a member of the research team which developed the recently announced FDA-approved breast cancer drug, Elacastrant.

Plenary Speaker: Wawrzyniec (Wawosz) Lawrence Dobrucki, Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Professor of Bioengineering, Health Innovation Professor for Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, Affiliate of Beckman Institute and the Cancer Center at Illinois, and Associate Head of Bioengineering Graduate Programs

Dobrucki is an Associate Professor and Associate Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Bioengineering with affiliations in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Medical University of Gdansk in Poland. In addition, he holds a full-time faculty position at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, where he serves as co-chair for the Integrative Imaging theme and directs the Experimental Molecular Imaging Laboratory (EMIL). His expertise is in preclinical molecular imaging, and his professional interests include developing novel targeted multimodal imaging strategies to noninvasively assess tissue microenvironments and various biological processes in vivo, including therapeutic neovascularization, atherosclerosis, neoplastic progression, and cancer response to experimental therapies.

Poster Instructions

  • Standard 3′ by 4′ poster
  • Check with the registration table to identify which board to use to hang your poster
  • There will be push pins at the registration table
  • Hang your poster by 10:00 a.m.
  • Take down your poster by 4:00 p.m.