FACS_logoIn 2009, the Foundation for Advanced Cancer Studies Inc. (FACS) sponsored the first Origins of Cancer symposium to mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of Charles Darwin’s famous On the Origin of Species. In 2014, FACS generously set up an endowment to support Origins of Cancer for many years to come.

The story of Origins of Cancer begins many years before the first symposium was held at Van Andel Institute in 2009. Today’s symposium is a reincarnation of the Oncogene Meeting, an annual event dedicated to the latest oncogene research that was first hosted in 1985 at Hood College. Three years later, in 1988, Dr. George Vande Woude and Dr. Tony Hunter formed FACS to oversee the annual meeting. The meeting was held annually for almost two decades, with the last meeting being held in 2004. It is remembered not only for its impressive gathering of leading scientific minds, but also as a forum for young scientists to present their work. Many of those who gave early presentations at the meeting went on to prestigious careers in cancer research.1

To learn more about the Oncogene Meeting (and its famous illustrations), please read A not so brief history of the Oncogene Meeting and its cartoons.
1Hunter T, Simon J. 2007. A not so brief history of the Oncogene Meeting and its cartoons. Oncogene. 26:1260–1267

Previous themes and speakers

2021: The emerging frontier: Cancer neuroscience

  • Suzanne J. Baker, Ph.D. – Keynote lecture
  • Michelle Monje Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. – Keynote lecture
  • Rameen Beroukhim, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Douglas Hanahan, Ph.D.
  • Nada Jabado, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Daniel L. Marks, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Pilar Sánchez-Gómez, Ph.D.
  • Derek A. Wainwright, Ph.D.
  • Kathryn Becker, B.S. – Abstract-selected speaker
  • Erik Peterson, B.S., M.S. – Abstract-selected speaker

2020: Beyond the margins: Exploring the tumor macroenvironment

  • Mina Bissell, Ph.D. – Keynote lecture
  • Kevanc Birsoy, Ph.D.
  • Theresa A. Guise, M.D.
  • Susan Kaech, Ph.D.
  • Michael Karin, Ph.D.
  • Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.
  • Sheila A. Stewart, Ph.D.
  • Jennifer E. Klomp, M.S., Ph.D. – Abstract selected talk

2019: The evolution of cancer

  • Charles Swanton, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, Ph.D. – Keynote lecture
  • David Wheeler, Ph.D.
  • Catherine Cottrell, Ph.D., FACMG
  • Hui Shen, Ph.D.
  • Ludmil Alexandrov, Ph.D.
  • Jean C.Y. Wang, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC
  • Marcelo Aldaz, M.D., Ph.D.

2018: Genetic and epigenetic alterations in pediatric cancers

  • Cigall Kadoch, Ph.D.
  • Alex Kentsis, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth R. Lawlor, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Charles Mullighan, MBBS (hons), M.Sc., M.D.
  • Elizabeth J. Perlman, M.D.
  • Joanna Phillips, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Charles W.M. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Kimberly Stegmaier, M.D.

2017: Tackling provocative questions

  • Chetan Bettegowda, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Lisa A. Boardman, M.D.
  • Scott Bultman, Ph.D.
  • Timothy Chan, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Craig M. Crews, Ph.D.
  • Emily Greenspan, Ph.D.
  • Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Lyse A. Norian, Ph.D.
  • Chrystal Paulos, Ph.D.

2016: Exploring tumor complexity

  • Emily Bernstein, Ph.D.
  • Rani E. George, M.D., Ph.D.
  • David Langenau, Ph.D.
  • Sophia Lunt, Ph.D.
  • Nicholas Navin, Ph.D.
  • Susan M. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
  • Dylan Taatjes, Ph.D.

2015: Beyond the genome: The role of posttranslational modifications in cancer

  • Scott Coonrod, Ph.D.
  • Michael Freitas, Ph.D.
  • Tony Hunter, Ph.D.
  • Karolin Luger, Ph.D.
  • Sonia Lobo Planey, Ph.D.
  • J. Michael Pierce, Ph.D.
  • Michael Rape, Ph.D.
  • Mauricio Reginato, Ph.D.

2014: Beyond the tumor cell

  • Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Chrislyn D’Souza-Schorey, Ph.D.
  • Susan E. Erdman, DVM, MPH
  • Johanna Joyce, Ph.D.
  • Patrick S. Moore, M.D., MPH
  • Drew M. Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Andrei Seluanov, Ph.D.
  • Zena Werb, Ph.D.

2013: The hallmarks of cancer
(Based on the reviews in Cell by Drs. Hanahan and Weinberg)

  • Eric C. Holland, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Yiban Kang, Ph.D.
  • Jeffrey W. Pollard, Ph.D.
  • Tannishtha Reya, Ph.D.
  • Matthew G. Vander Heiden, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Victor E. Velculescu, Ph.D.
  • Peter K. Vogt, Ph.D.
  • Owen Witte, M.D.

2011: Oncogenic pathways; tumor suppressors; receptor tyrosine kinases; signal transduction; cell cycles

  • James D. Watson, Ph.D.
  • Natalie G. Ahn, Ph.D.
  • Sara Courtneidge, Ph.D.
  • Robert N. Eisenman, Ph.D.
  • Edward Harlow Jr., Ph.D.
  • Richard Jove, Ph.D.
  • Deborah Morrison, Ph.D.
  • Charles Sherr, M.D., Ph.D.

2010: Cytogenetics of cancer; oncogenic pathways; environmental factors; infectious agents; cancer stem cells; comparative oncology

  • Janet S. Butel, Ph.D.
  • Pelayo Correa, M.D.
  • Joe Gray, Ph.D.
  • Martin McMahon, Ph.D.
  • Stuart Orkin, M.D.
  • Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D.
  • Janet Rowley, M.D.
  • Margaret R. Spitz, M.D., MPH

2009: Genetic instability; cellular pathways; environmental factors (radiation, diet, and exercise); infectious agents; clonal transmission; non-coding RNAs; sporadic mutations

  • Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D
  • J. Silvio Gutkind, ph.D.
  • Brendan Manning, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Murchison, Ph.D.
  • David S. Pellman, M.D.
  • Frank Slack, Ph.D.
  • Jeffrey M .Trent, Ph.D.
  • Professor Sir Dillwyn Williams, FRCP, FRCPath, FMedSci