​Professional and Career Advancement Sessions

Professional Advancement Series of sessions have been a long-standing, integral part of the AACR Annual Meeting experience, representing our dedication to the education, training, and career advancement of cancer research investigators. These sessions are organized to provide important skills to investigators at all levels, from high school students to junior faculty. Programs for high school students and undergraduates require registration. All other Professional Advancement Sessions are available to Annual Meeting registrants free of charge, but attendance is limited to AACR members. Nonmember registrants are strongly encouraged to join the AACR and take advantage of the many benefits of membership, including access to these sessions.


Advance registration is only required for the Personalized Career Conversations session and the Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition. Participation in all other sessions is on a first-come, first-served basis, and space is limited.

For all other Professional Advancement Sessions, membership is required; attendance is free for AACR members with your Annual Meeting registration. Nonmembers are strongly encouraged to join the AACR and take advantage of the many benefits of membership, including access to these sessions.

Professional Advancement Series of sessions at the 2019 Annual Meeting

Careers in Clinical and Translational Cancer Research Roundtable
Saturday, March 30, 2019, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This Professional Advancement session will include a series of presentation by recognized leader in clinical cancer research, followed by informal roundtable discussions. Participants will meet with small-group roundtable mentors who represent a variety of roles in academia, industry and government sectors, to discuss professional experiences, successes and lessons learned that have helped establish his/her clinical, translational or physician-scientist, career path. Learn more.

Personalized Career Conversations 
Sunday, March 31, 2019, 5-7 p.m.
Pre-registration required - Registration closed

This session provides a unique opportunity for early-career AACR Associate Members to be paired with distinguished cancer researchers for one-on-one conversations. There is no cost to participate in this session, but pre-registration is required. A list of this year’s participating senior scientists are now available. Learn more

The Critical Role of Physician-scientists in Advancing Cancer Science - Suggestions for Continued Success       
Sunday, March 31, 2019, 5-7 p.m. 

Through panel discussion and Q&A, this Professional Advancement session will explore the critical roles of physician-scientists and provide strategies for success in scientific discoveries in cancer, the clinical care of patients and/or the health of populations, the advancement of education/mentoring, and opportunities for administrative leadership. As an added bonus, Program Directors from the National Cancer Institute will participate in this program and share insights and key pointers on funding mechanisms for physician-scientists. Learn more

Workforce Development: Professional Enhancement and Career Advancement
Monday, April 1, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This session is designed to assist with the professional and career development of AACR members interested in all career levels. The session will consist of informal small-group conversations at roundtables with representatives from varying roles in the academic, industry and government sectors. Approximately 10 participants per table will have the opportunity to informally speak with a roundtable mentor about his/her experiences, successes, and lessons learned that have helped establish the mentor’s career path. Learn more

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Additional Professional Advancement Opportunities 

14th Annual Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition 
Saturday, March 30, 2019, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 

With over 200 undergraduate student participants every year, the Undergraduate Student Caucus Poster Competition continues to be the premier event for undergraduate students attending the AACR Annual Meeting. Now in its thirteenth year, this session gives undergraduates the opportunity to learn more about current research in the cancer field, hear from investigators about educational pathways and career development, explore career options in the cancer field, and compete for monetary prizes while presenting research. Undergraduates at all levels as well as post-baccalaureate students are welcome to participate without cost. AACR members are encouraged to volunteer as judges. Learn More

Meet the Mentor: Undergraduate Focus
Sunday, March 30, 3:45-4:45 p.m.

Meet the Mentor: Undergraduate Focus features esteemed senior scientists who will engage undergraduate students in informal discussions about cancer research. The session is intended to help guide students in their educational pursuit of establishing a career in cancer research. All undergraduate student attendees at the Annual Meeting are encouraged to participate. Learn More.

Career Discussion
Monday, April 1, 2:30-4:15 p.m.
Tuesday, April 2, 2:30-4:15 p.m.

Career Discussions are informal networking and discussion sessions are designed for early-career scientists to interact with junior faculty and physician-scientists. Sessions take place in the Associate Member Resource and Career Center in AACRcentral. 

Meet the Research Icon
Monday, April 1, 10-10:45 a.m.
Tuesday, April 2, 10-10:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 3, 10-10:45 a.m.

Meet the Research Icons sessions are intended for early-career scientists and provide a special opportunity for young investigators to meet esteemed researchers in a small group setting to discuss their specific career paths and visions for the future of cancer research. Sessions take place in the Associate Member Resource and Career Center in AACRcentral. 

Special Program for High School Students: The Conquest of Cancer and the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers     
Friday, March 29, 2019, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

This interactive program is designed to inspire students to pursue careers in cancer research and biomedical sciences by providing an opportunity for Students to learn about cancer from cancer research experts while interacting with their peers. The program includes lectures, tours of the exhibits and poster areas, student presentations, and a networking lunch. AACR members are encouraged to volunteer as mentors. Learn more.

Professional Advancement Session Webcasts

As an additional member benefit, webcasts of selected Professional Advancement Session presentations are now available free to AACR members in good standing. Members in good standing who have already created a webcast portal account can log in and view these sessions. Members in good standing who do not have a webcast account can create an account to begin viewing the career development webcasts (AACR member ID number required).

The following 2018 Professional Advancement Session presentations are available to members as free webcasts:


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