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Not Your Mother’s Grant Writing Session – I Promise!


Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST

Bissonet, New Orleans Marriott 

We are no longer accepting registration for Not Your Mother’s Grant Writing Session – I Promise!

Organized as a collaborative effort between the Associate Member Council (AMC), Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) Council, Women in Cancer Research (WICR) Council, and the AACR Science Education and Career Advancement Committee, this session will teach participants how to write a well-structured grant that gets the reviewer excited and ultimately gets funded – especially when writing is not your favorite thing. 

Did you participate in this Professional Advancement Session during the AACR Annual Meeting? If so, don’t forget to complete the session evaluation and share your feedback with us! Your input will help us shape additional professional development-related sessions and programming. Share your feedback!


Session Co-Chairs: 

Victoria L. Seewaldt, MD, Beckman Research Institute of The City of Hope, Duarte, California 

Robert A. Winn, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 

This session aims to provide new investigators (postdoctoral fellows and new faculty) with practical tools to write competitive grants. Focus is placed on how to write when writing isn’t your top skill-set (or even if you hate writing), how to structure an aims page to make help the reviewer “get” all the information you want them to “get” and also to help them think you are well organized and smart, and how to write an aims page that makes a reviewer excited about your grant. Here we will focus on crafting an Aims page, show how to set up a crowd sourcing group over Zoom (with the help of 3-4 scientific friends and one senior person), and unveil the mysteries of the NIH “pink sheet”.

After the session, participants will have: 

  • Learned how to write a well-structured compelling Aims page; 
  • How to approach writing when writing is not your strength;  
  • A better understanding of what the NIH “pink” sheet means; 
  • Learned how to develop a grant writing group over Zoom; and 
  • Gained the tools to write a grant that actually gets funded. 

2022 Participating Scientists

Sophia H.L. George, PhD

Sophia H.L. George, PhD

Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences

University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Miami, Florida

Dr. Sophia George is Associate Professor in the Division of Gynecological Oncology within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and is a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Cancer Control Program. Dr. Sophia George is a molecular geneticist graduate from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She then did post-doctoral training in molecular pathology in Gynecological Pathology at Princess Margaret Cancer Center within the Ontario Cancer Institute and a second post-doc at Duke University in the Department of Medical Oncology in Hereditary breast cancer syndrome. She began her faculty position at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in 2015. She is funded by the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program, the NIH (supplements) and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Dr. George is a native of the Caribbean and who studies the genomic drivers of Hereditary Cancer syndromes in people of the African diaspora (Caribbean, USA, Africa). She is a co-Leader of the women’s cancer working group in the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium and co-Principal Investigator and founder of the Transatlantic Gynecologic Cancer Research Consortium.

“‘The heights by great *people reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.’ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This quote from the poem by Henry Longfellow, truly reflects the hard work, (and luck) to be successful. Build a community, seek mentorship, take the feedback, be humble, persevere and work in alignment of your goals.”

Veronica Jones, MD

Veronica Jones, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery

City of Hope National Medical Center

Duarte, California

Veronica Jones, M.D., joined City of Hope in 2015 as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Surgery, specializing in breast surgery. Dr. Jones earned her undergraduate degree with honors from Stanford University before receiving her medical doctorate with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. While in medical school, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) National Medical Honor Society. Dr. Jones continued her postdoctoral training at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX, with a categorical general surgery internship and residency. At Baylor, Dr. Jones was honored as chief resident of the year. In 2014, she completed a breast surgical oncology fellowship at Emory University.

Board-certified in surgery, Dr. Jones holds active memberships with several professional societies and is heavily involved in community outreach, speaking frequently at numerous events across Southern California.

The focus of her research is investigating genomic drivers of aggressive luminal breast cancer biology, especially among underrepresented minorities as well as developing ways to increase minority participation in clinical research. She also partners with universities in the surrounding area to develop technology to treat breast cancer in a minimally invasive way.

“A quote I have on my desk is ‘winners don’t make excuses; winners make progress’ I have experienced setbacks and challenges on this journey to becoming an independent investigator, but instead of allowing them to define why I can’t/won’t succeed, I focus on how they actually make me a more complete researcher and continue to forge ahead.”

Augusto C. Ochoa, MD

Augusto C. Ochoa, MD

Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, Deputy Director, LSU-LCMC  Cancer Center, Professor of Pediatrics, Al Copeland – Cancer Crusaders Chair

Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans, Louisana

Augusto Ochoa, MD, earned his MD from the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia in 1982.  That year, he started a postdoctoral fellowship at the Immunobiology Research Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he became an Assistant Professor in 1986.  He served as Head of the Immunotherapy Laboratory for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1989 to 1996, and Head of the NCI Signal Transduction Laboratory from 1996 to 1997.  At the LSU Health Sciences Center, he is Professor of Pediatrics, Adjunct Associate Professor of Biochemistry, and Director of the Cancer Center.  At Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, he is a practicing physician specializing in the field of Allergy/Immunology. His research interests include T-cell function, cytokine production, macrophage T-cell interaction, immune regulation, immune dysfunction and disease, as well as tumor immunology.



Ruth Ziegler Chair in Population Sciences

City of Hope National Medical Center

Duarte, California

Victoria Seewaldt, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in translational research, the interface between diabetes and cancer, and the health science disparities. Dr. Seewaldt leads a bench to community research program focusing on identifying molecular targets and multi-disciplinary targets for early detection of biologically aggressive cancers and studying the role insulin has on promoting aggressive cancer biology. Dr. Seewaldt has been continuously funded by NIH since 2000 to develop basic/translational research strategies identifying signaling networks that promote cancer initiation to provide early detection of interval breast cancers and reduce cancer health disparities and most recently diabetes. The unique feature of Dr. Seewaldt’s program is that biomarkers identified in the laboratory can be immediately translated to develop novel pharmacologic agents and strategies to reduce cancer health disparities and prevent type-2 diabetes. Dr. Seewaldt is the first generation born in this country; Dr. Seewaldt is a strong advocate for women, particularly women from diverse backgrounds; to this end she was awarded the 2017 NIH/CAP/CURE Champion Mentorship Award. Dr. Seewaldt currently is MPI of a T32 training grant to study the interface of diabetes, metabolism, and cancer. She is also MPI of the P20CA24619 University California, Riverside-City of Hope partnership to build capacity in translational research, drug development focusing on cancer and type-2 diabetes in diverse populations.

Robert A. Winn, MD

Robert A. Winn, MD

Director, VCU Massey Cancer Center Senior, Associate Dean for Cancer Innovation, VCU School of Medicine, Professor of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, Lipman Chair in Oncology

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia

Dr. Robert Winn is the director of the NCI-designated VCU Massey Cancer Center. In addition to directing the activities of Massey’s 250 research members – researchers and physicians from 39 departments in nine colleges and schools at VCU – he also manages a research laboratory at VCU. Robert’s current basic science research focuses on the translational aspects of the role that proliferation pathways and cellular senescence play in lung cancer. He is leading the nation in establishing a 21st century model of equity for cancer science and care, in which the community is informing and partnering with Massey on its research to best address the cancer burden and disparities of those the cancer center serves. He holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Dr. Winn completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

Dr. Winn has a strong track record in performing seminal basic and translational studies that include animal models of lung cancer and molecular signaling mechanisms to define novel therapeutic approaches towards human models of lung cancer. The work from his laboratory has resulted in a number of peer-reviewed academic journals and funded grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institute of Health (NIH). Dr. Winn’s lab is currently investigating the role of an RNA-binding protein in K-Ras mutations of lung cancer (these mutations account for almost a third of lung cancers diagnosed) and the role of an electrically silent ion channel in lung cancer. Dr. Winn is also a leading expert on social determinants of health and health disparities.