Mission and Purposes
The mission of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group is to provide an ongoing forum for scholarly discussion of the complex relationships between the immune system and tumor cells along the continuum of cancer research. The AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group seeks—at a national and international level—to bring together researchers and clinicians from any relevant scientific disciplines who are interested in working together to increase knowledge about cancer immunology and immunotherapy and apply the knowledge gained from advances to accelerate the prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship of cancer.
The AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group will help to enhance AACR’s role in the advancement of the field by promoting, integrating, and widely disseminating the new developments in cancer immunology and immunotherapy to the scientific community and by offering opportunities for immunologists and cancer researchers to network, exchange information, and guide the AACR in its activities related to cancer immunology and immunotherapy.
Specifically, The AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group supports its mission and the AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers by:
- promoting and fostering immunology research, spanning the spectrum of cancer immunology from fundamental immunology research to clinical testing of new immune-based interventions, as an integral part of the prevention and cure of cancer;
- facilitating the integration of cancer immunology with other cancer research sub-disciplines;
- stimulating new developments in research, technology, concepts, and policies to advance the field;
- highlighting the best cancer-related immunology research through AACR and its journals, Annual Meeting, and other forums;
- fostering an atmosphere of open dialogue among a diverse group of researchers with a common interest in the field; and
- supporting the education, training, and professional advancement of early-career scientists to drive interest in the field.
Article I. Membership
Membership in the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group is free and open to all members of the AACR interested in the above listed scientific areas. AACR members may indicate their wish to join the group via the AACR annual dues invoice or by submitting a request by email to the designated AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group staff liaison.
Article II. Steering Committee
The leadership body of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group shall be known as the Steering Committee.
The responsibilities of Steering Committee members will include, but are not limited to:
(a) encouraging and maintaining active participation in AACR programs, initiatives, and activities involving any aspect of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.
(b) promoting AACR and its programs relevant to the field.
(c) representing the field of cancer immunology by serving as liaisons and scientific/medical advisory body to the AACR Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.
(d) establishing priorities for the scientific and professional goals of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group and its members.
(e) providing input to the Working Group’s Chair and AACR leadership on issues such as suggestions for new Steering Committee members; formation and membership of standing or ad hoc committees to carry out the work of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group; and recommendations of individuals to be nominated for service on various AACR Committees, Editorial Boards and Association Groups.
(f) conceptualizing and developing AACR Annual Meeting, Special Conference, and Educational Workshop scientific content, including symposia and other sessions of interest to the Working Group’s membership, for approval by the AACR Board of Directors or relevant Annual Meeting or Standing Committees (e.g., AACR Education and Training Committee; AACR Special Conferences Committee).
All Active AACR members in good standing are eligible to serve on the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee.
The AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee shall abide by the following provisions:
(a) The Steering Committee’s leadership will consist of three Officers: a Chair, a Chair-Elect and a Past Chair.
(b) Additional members decided upon by the Steering Committee shall each serve staggered three-year terms; all new Steering Committee members are nominated by the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee. The Steering Committee members shall rank order the submitted nominations, after which the ordered list of recommended nominations shall be submitted to the AACR staff liaison by the Chair-Elect. Once received, formal invitations to serve on the Steering Committee shall be issued to all top ranked individuals until all vacant positions are filled.
(c) The overall composition of the Steering Committee must reflect the scientific, racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the AACR’s membership and strive to reflect the racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the cancer research community. The Steering Committee shall be comprised of three Officers and fifteen additional Steering Committee members.
(d) Steering Committee members may not serve for consecutive terms, either in the same or in another position on the Steering Committee. Steering Committee members may be nominated, elected, and invited to return to the Steering Committee only after spending at least one year removed from the Steering Committee roster. Exceptions shall be allowed should an active Steering Committee member be elected as an Officer.
(e) Terms for all newly elected Steering Committee members will begin at the time of the AACR Annual Meeting immediately following their election and will terminate as of the AACR Annual Meeting three years later.
(f) Term limits for the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Chair-Elect and Immediate Past Chair shall be restricted to one year, while the term limit for AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Chair shall be for two years. Each of these roles shall be held in succession, for a total term of four years.
(g) In some cases and when deemed appropriate by the Working Group Steering Committee and AACR leadership, representatives from other organizations interested in the group’s primary scientific discipline area shall be appointed to the Steering Committee. Such individuals would serve a term limit as determined by the Working Group’s leadership and as is deemed appropriate given the member’s position within the other organization.
Officers of the Steering Committee shall be elected as follows:
(a) The slate for Chair-Elect shall be developed by a Nominating Committee consisting of five AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group members in good standing. Two of these members shall be the current Chair and Past Chair of the Steering Committee. In the absence of a Past Chair, other Steering Committee members may serve on the Nominating Committee. The remaining three members of the Nominating Committee will be appointed by the Steering Committee Chair, with one of these three members serving as Nominating Committee Chair.
(b) The Nominating Committee will identify two candidates to stand for election for the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Chair-Elect Position.
(c) All members of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Chair-Elect Nominating Committee are ineligible from standing for election to the position of Chair-Elect until their committee term has expired. Current members of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee are eligible to be nominated. In the event that such an individual is elected, the current Chair must name a replacement Steering Committee member to populate the vacated position.
(d) Once two candidates for the Chair-Elect position have been finalized, a ballot will be developed summarizing each candidate’s professional background. This ballot will also contain vision statements from each candidate outlining their intended goals for the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group. Ballots will be issued electronically to all Working Group members for a popular vote. In lieu of an electronically submitted ballot, Working Group members may also vote by mail. All mailed ballots must be submitted and received by AACR’s staff liaison to the Working Group no later than the advertised voting deadline. Any mailed votes received after the advertised deadline will not be counted.
The Chair-Elect shall be elected by popular vote of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group members and will assume office at the AACR Annual Meeting immediately following their election. Upon expiration of the Chair’s term of office, the Chair-Elect will assume the office of Chair, while the Chair will assume the role of Past Chair. The Past Chair will subsequently retire from the Steering Committee upon the expiration of his or her term of office.
Steering Committee Leadership Duties and Responsibilities:
(a) The Steering Committee Chair shall preside over all Steering Committee meetings and all other meetings and functions of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group.
(b) The Steering Committee Chair, in collaboration with the Working Group’s staff liaison, shall prepare all reports deemed necessary to update the AACR Board of Directors on the Working Group’s activities;
(c) The Steering Committee Chair shall serve as the main point of contact between AACR and the Steering Committee, oversee any Working Group sub-committees (if applicable), and direct all Working Group initiatives approved by the AACR Board of Directors.
(d) The Steering Committee Chair-Elect shall assume the duties of the Chair in their absence and shall oversee those activities as delegated by the Chair.
(e) The Steering Committee Chair-Elect, in consultation with the Chair, shall appoint all new members of the Steering Committee required to replace outgoing members at the beginning of their term of office.
(f) The Steering Committee Past Chair shall serve to preserve programmatic and leadership continuity as well as to assist in the functions and programs of the Steering Committee, as needed.
Steering Committee members are expected to attend regular Steering Committee meetings. If an extended absence is required by a member because of extenuating circumstances, an exception may be granted by the Officers. A Steering Committee member who has not asked for an exception and has failed to attend three consecutive Steering Committee meetings or conference calls shall be considered to have resigned. Reinstatement shall be considered by the Steering Committee only upon receipt of a written petition from that member facing resignation. Any Steering Committee member may be dismissed upon unanimous vote of the remaining Steering Committee members for failure to perform their duties and responsibilities.
Grounds for dismissal include but are not limited to:
- failure to perform duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Steering Committee Chair
- failure to attend three consecutive Steering Committee meetings or conference calls without an exception; and
- failure to act in accordance with this Charter, the Policies of the Steering Committee, or with the By-Laws and Policies of the AACR.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of Steering Committee Chair, the Chair-Elect shall assume the office of Chair for the remainder of the unexpired term and shall subsequently continue as Chair for the next term of office. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chair-Elect, the Steering Committee shall hold an election following the procedure outlined in Article II, Section 5. In the event of a vacancy of a Steering Committee member’s seat, the Chair-Elect shall appoint an AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group member in good standing to serve for the remainder of the term of office associated with the vacated position.
Article III. Meetings and Quorum
The AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group shall hold an Annual Town Meeting for members and any individual interested in the Working Group’s programs during the AACR Annual Meeting or at such other AACR meeting or special conference as deemed appropriate by the Steering Committee.
Steering Committee meetings and teleconferences may be called by the Chair or, in case of the Chair’s absence or disability, by the Chair-Elect. Notice of all meetings shall be given so as to reach all Steering Committee Members at least seven days before the date of the meeting.
The Steering Committee will conduct meetings via teleconference as needed. In-person meetings may be called with the approval of the AACR leadership.
A simple majority of Steering Committee members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings or the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee.
Article IV. Committees
The Chair, with the approval of the Steering Committee and AACR leadership, may establish standing and/or ad hoc committees to carry out the work of the Steering Committee. The number of Committees to be appointed will depend upon the approved programs and activities of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group and the financial resources available.
The Chair, in consultation of the Steering Committee and approval of the AACR leadership, may dissolve any standing and/or ad hoc committee as deemed appropriate.
Article V. Financial Support
Members of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group and its leadership body will be expected to assist with fundraising specifically designed to raise funds in support of ongoing and future Working Group programs, initiatives, research grants, travel awards, scientific achievement awards, and other Working Group-led efforts.
The AACR Foundation staff shall work to procure the funds needed to meet the goals of the Working Group.
Generated funds will cover the cost associated with staff required to manage the activities of the Working Group. The number and extent of Working Group activities shall be dependent on the amount of funds raised. Funds raised for the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group will be specifically designated for the Working Group’s programs.
Article VI. Program Administration
An AACR Staff Liaison shall be appointed by the AACR Chief Executive Officer to serve as the facilitator of communication and program administration between AACR’s leadership and the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee. This appointed individual will provide scientific support and perform all administrative functions necessary to execute the initiatives of the Steering Committee in keeping with the policies of the AACR.
AACR must be informed of and approve all AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group activities. Approval is based on feedback from the AACR Board of Directors, the compatibility of the proposed activity with AACR’s mission, staff availability to complete the tasks necessary to implement the activity, and the overall feasibility of the proposed initiative(s) contingent upon financial resources. Written program proposals accompanied by an estimated budget must first be submitted to the AACR Chief Executive Officer for approval, prior to submission to the AACR Board of Directors.
All official communications originating from the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group Steering Committee and sent to the Working Group’s membership must first be approved by the AACR. The AACR staff liaison to the Working Group must be included on all communications, facsimiles, letters, etc. relevant to the activities of the Working Group that are generated and distributed by the Steering Committee.
Article VI. Amendments
Any member of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group may submit a written proposal to amend this Charter. However, only Steering Committee members may raise such an amendment for consideration by the Steering Committee.
A two-thirds vote of all Steering Committee members is required for any proposed Charter amendment to be considered further by AACR’s leadership. All proposed amendments must be first reviewed and approved by the AACR Chief Executive Officer prior to consideration by the AACR Board of Directors.