Mission and Purposes
The mission of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group (MEG) is to foster and strengthen team-based, transdisciplinary research to develop a more integrated understanding of cancer etiology and outcomes in human populations.
The group includes epidemiologists, molecular biologists and geneticists, biochemists, toxicologists, nutritionists, clinical and translational researchers, pathologists, biostatisticians and other data scientists, ethicists, behavioral and social scientists, implementation scientists, and researchers from other relevant scientific disciplines who are interested in collaborating to increase knowledge about cancer and chronic disease etiology, thereby promoting the prevention, cure and healthy survivorship of cancer patients and the improvement of public health.
The AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group will accomplish its mission by working to:
- Facilitate transdisciplinary approaches to the study of cancer and chronic disease etiology.
- Promote the incorporation of molecular/biochemical concepts and techniques as well as novel data science tools into well-designed epidemiologic studies.
- Provide an ongoing forum for the scholarly discussion and development of sound approaches to the conduct and interpretation of molecular epidemiologic studies.
- Foster partnerships/collaborations with scientists in other disciplines.
- Sponsor scientific and educational programs that will advance the field.
- Establish a community of scientists studying the molecular epidemiology of cancer.
Article I: Membership
Membership in the AACR Molecular Epidemiology 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 Molecular Epidemiology Working Group staff liaison.
Dues for membership will be assessed on an annual basis. Any imposed dues will be determined and approved at a rate decided upon by the AACR Board of Directors.
Article II. Steering Committee
The leadership body of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group shall be known as the Steering Committee.
The responsibilities of the Steering Committee members will include, but are not limited to:
- Encouraging and maintaining active participation in AACR activities, initiatives, and programs involving any aspect of molecular epidemiology.
- Promoting AACR and its programs related to molecular epidemiology and related fields of health research.
- Representing the field of molecular epidemiology by serving as liaisons and scientific/medical advisory body to the AACR Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.
- Serving as representative for all individuals in the AACR’s membership who are interested and/or engaged in molecular epidemiology research as deemed appropriate by AACR leadership.
- Establishing priorities for the scientific and professional goals of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group and its members.
- 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 Molecular Epidemiology Working Group; and recommendations of individuals to be nominated for service on various AACR Committees, Editorial Boards and Association Groups.
- Conceptualizing and developing AACR Annual Meeting and Special Conference scientific content including symposia and other sessions of interest to the MEG membership.
All Active AACR members in good standing are eligible to serve on the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group Steering Committee.
The AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group Steering Committee shall abide by the following provisions:
- The Steering Committee’s leadership will consist of three Officers: a Chair, a Chair-Elect and an Immediate Past Chair.
- Additional members decided upon by the Steering Committee shall each serve staggered three-year terms. New Steering Committee members shall be nominated by the existing AACR Molecular Epidemiology 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 by the Chair-Elect. Once received, formal invitations to join the Steering Committee shall be issued to all top ranked individuals until all vacant positions are filled.
- The overall composition of the Steering Committee must reflect the scientific, racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity of the AACR’s membership and strive to reflect the racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the U.S. population. The Steering Committee comprises the three Officers and 6-12 additional Steering Committee members.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Term limits for all members of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group’s leadership (Chair-Elect, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair) are restricted to one year with each role held in succession, for a total term of three years.
Steering Committee Officers shall be elected as follows:
- The election slate for Chair-Elect shall be developed by a Nominating Committee consisting of five AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group members in good standing. Two of these members shall be the current Chair and Immediate Past Chair of the Steering Committee. In the absence of an Immediate 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 also serving as Nominating Committee Chair.
- The Nominating Committee shall identify two primary and two alternate candidates to stand for election for the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group Chair-Elect position.
- All members of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology 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 Molecular Epidemiology 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.
- 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 Molecular Epidemiology 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 AACR Molecular Epidemiology 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 Immediate Past Chair. The Immediate 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:
- The Steering Committee Chair shall preside over all Steering Committee meetings and all other meetings and functions of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Steering Committee Chair-Elect shall assume the duties of the Chair in his or her absence and shall oversee all activities delegated by the Chair.
- 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. All new Steering Committee members shall be selected and confirmed according to the parameters outlined in Article II, Section 4.
- The Steering Committee Immediate 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 the member facing resignation. Any Steering Committee member may be dismissed upon unanimous vote of the remaining Steering Committee members for failure to perform his or her 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 a Molecular Epidemiology 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 Molecular Epidemiology Working Group shall hold an Annual Town Hall Meeting for all Working Group members and any individual interested in the Working Group’s programs during the AACR Annual Meeting, or at any 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 and teleconferences shall be given so as to reach all Steering Committee members at least seven calendar days prior to the date of the meeting.
The Steering Committee will conduct meetings via teleconference as needed. In-person meetings may be organized with the approval of AACR leadership.
A simple majority of Steering Committee members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology 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 shall depend upon the approved programs and activities of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group, and the financial resources available.
The Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, and with the approval of AACR leadership, may dissolve any standing and/or ad hoc committee as deemed appropriate.
Article V. Communications
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 Molecular Epidemiology 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.
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention is recognized as the official journal of the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group. Reasonable requests for publication of notices and advertisements from the Working Group shall be accommodated whenever possible.
AACR must be informed of and approve all AACR Molecular Epidemiology 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 Molecular Epidemiology 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 Molecular Epidemiology 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.