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‘Vaccines to End Cancer’ Headlines Inaugural Community Lecture Series Sept. 14 at Gonzaga

Nora Disis, M.D.

World-Renowned Cancer Researcher
Dr. Nora Disis Presents Free Lecture

SPOKANE, Wash. – Nora Disis, M.D., renowned cancer researcher and University of Washington School of Medicine associate dean for translational science, will discuss “Vaccines to End Cancer” at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14 in the Hemmingson Center Ballroom at Gonzaga University. The free public event is the inaugural Next Generation Medicine Lecture, a series of free community lectures presented by the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership.

Dr. Disis will present on how next generation medical research at the UW is uncovering how the body’s immune system can be employed to fight cancer. Dr. Disis directs the UW Medicine Tumor Vaccine Group, the largest academic research group dedicated to the development of cancer vaccines in the United States. Its goal is to develop vaccines to prevent cancers responsible for millions of deaths and enormous healthcare costs, including breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic and lung cancers – and to prevent cancer relapse that is often incurable.

To date, the TVG has developed a pipeline of successful cancer vaccines and carried them into clinical trials, including a vaccine to prevent breast cancer recurrence, a vaccine to target proteins present in breast cancer stem cells that cause invasive breast cancer, a vaccine that targets a key protein that initiates metastatic ovarian cancer, and a protein-based vaccine that targets colon tumors, to name a few. TVG researchers are investigating creating a vaccine to prevent lung cancer in former smokers, a vaccine to prevent prostate cancer, and a vaccine to prevent lung cancer recurrence.

“Dr. Disis is an excellent researcher who has made great contributions to the scientific literature, and what we know about cancer and how are body reacts,” said Darryl Potyk, M.D., the Partnership’s medical director. “Despite the complexity of her research, Dr. Disis has the ability to explain her research in ways we can all understand.  This is a great opportunity to hear and to interact with one of the world’s top researchers.”

Opening remarks will be made by Darryl Potyk, M.D., chief of medical education for the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership and UW School of Medicine associate dean for Eastern Washington, and Courtney Law, Ph.D., director of the Partnership.

Registration is requested at

About the UW School of Medicine

The UW School of Medicine has been rated as one of the top three medical schools in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. With 31 clinical and basic science departments, the School’s researchers and teachers make life-improving discoveries while training medical students, residents, fellows and allied health professionals to care for future generations of patients. The school is an entity of UW Medicine.

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About the UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership

In 2016 the University of Washington School of Medicine and Gonzaga University formed a regional health partnership to continue, enhance and expand medical education and research in Spokane. The agreement makes Gonzaga a partner in the University of Washington’s regional, community-based medical education program, WWAMI (an acronym for the states it serves: Washington [Seattle & Spokane], Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho), and set in motion plans to advance health-related research, entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary health sciences teaching in Spokane.

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