Huggins Symposium

Each spring, faculty and staff gather for the Charles B. Huggins Research Symposium, an event celebrating the academic accomplishments of the Department – past, present and future.  The event features a poster competition, oral presentations and a distinguished keynote speaker.

"Discovery is our business" was Dr. Charles B. Huggins motto and anthem.

Dr. Huggins was the founder and first Director of the Ben May Cancer Laboratory for Cancer Research, in 1951. It was at this time that he demonstrated that breast cancer, like prostate cancer, was dependent on specific hormones. By removing the sources of those hormones, the ovaries and the adrenal glands, which Dr. Huggins showed in 1945 were the source of both male and female hormones, a substantial regression in 30-40% of women with advanced breast cancer was observed.

In 1961, Dr. Huggins developed an experimental mode of human breast cancer in rats. He injected a small dose of aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons to produce malignant mammary tumors, many of which were hormone dependent. The hormone dependent tumors grew and shrank in response to changes in hormonal balance of the host. The method was known as the "Huggins tumor.” In 1966, Huggins was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for his research showing the relationship between hormones and certain cancers. In his most important research, he proved that administration of the female hormone, estrogen, slowed the growth of prostate cancer in males. Hormone therapy, also called androgen ablation, is now a common treatment of prostate cancer.

Charles B. Huggins was born on September 22, 1901, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in three years from Acadia University in 1920. In 1924, at age 22, he graduated from Harvard Medical School. He served his internship and residency in General Surgery at the University of Michigan. In 1927, he came to The University of Chicago as research fellow, encouraged by the Chair of Surgery, Dallas Phesmister, to take over Urologic Surgery. Having never done any medical research and having no experience in urology, Huggins bought the standard urology textbook and memorized it in three weeks. He became an assistant professor in 1929, associate professor and United States citizen in 1933, and professor in 1936. In the 1950s, Huggins gave up his surgical practice to focus on research full- time. He had won more than 100 awards and honorary degrees. 

"Research," Huggins said, "has always been my pleasure as well as my job. There is nothing that matches the thrill of discovery:'

2018      Karl Matlin, PhD
              Professor of Surgery, Vice-Chair for Research
              The University of Chicago

2017      Narayanan Kasthuri, MD, PhD
              Neuroscience Researcher
              Argonne National Laboratory

2016      Richard Hodin, MD
              Professor of Surgery 
              Harvard Medical School

2015      Herbert K. Lyerly, MD
              Professor of Surgery 
              Duke University School of Medicine

2014      Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD
              Professor of Surgery, Vice-Chair of Research
              Emory University

2013      Yoram Vodovotz, PhD
              Professor of Surgery
              University of Pittsburgh

2012      Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD
              Professor of Surgery, Chairman
              Harvard Medical School

2011      Walter J. Koch, PhD
              Professor of Medicine
              Thomas Jefferson University

Abstract Competition Winners

Le Shen, PhD:
The Cerebral cavernous malformation disease causing gene KRIT1 regulates epithelial barrier maintenance and regulation 

Sara Gaines, MD:
The impact of collagenolytic Enterococcus faecalis on colorectal cancer tumor formation following anastomotic surgery

Lea Hoefer, BA, BS:
The Effect of Margin Status on Multivisceral Resection of Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: Results from a 598 Patient Cohort from the U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative

Poster Competition Winners

Sean Polster, MD:
CASH (Cavernous Angiomas with Symptomatic Hemorrhage) Trial Readiness

Karren Hassan, MD:
Readmission and Revision Rates for Replantation: A Survey of the National Readmission Database

Abstract Competition Winners

Sonia Hernandez, PhD:
Staphylococcus aureus Alpha Toxin Activates Notch 1 in Endothelial Cells and Modulates Angiogenesis In Vivo

Sanjiv Hyoju, MD:
A Novel Drug That Suppresses the Production of Collagenase in Enterococcus faecalis and Enhances Anastomotic Healing

Romuald Girard, PhD:
Plasma Markers of Inflammation Reflect Seizures and Hemorrhagic Activity in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

Zoë Levine, BA:
The Metabolic Profile of Enterococcus faecalis is Shaped by the Environment of Post-anastomotic Tissues and May Contribute to the Pathogenesis of Leak

Poster Competition Winners

Tony Rodriguez III, MD:
Nephroureterectomy for upper tract urothelial carcinoma: a population-based assessment of utilization and outcomes by surgical approach

Hannah Brechka, BA:
Novel Tumor Suppressor Role for Meis/Hox Axis in Prostate Cancer

Abstract Competition Winners

Gary An, MD:
Avoiding Catastrophe: A proposed participatory modular agent-based modeling approach to the design of a trauma center 

Olga Zaborina, PhD:
Extreme physiologic stress causes disappearance of the commensal microbiota from cecal crypts and impairs intestinal epithelium regeneration 

Romuald Girard, PhD:
Vascular Permeability and Iron Deposition Biomarkers in Longitudinal Follow-up of Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

Sanjiv Hyoju, PhD:
Oral polyphosphate as the next generation bowel prep: its role in anastomotic leak prevention

Kristina Guyton, MD:
Serial Endoscopic Surveillance after Low Anterior Resection to Understand the Pathogenesis of Anastomotic Leak: Preliminary Results of a Safety and Feasibility Clinical Trial

Chad Teven, MD:
The use of an implantable Doppler to monitor free flap perfusion during vascularized lymph node transfer

Zoe Levine:
Identifying and Quantifying Collagenolytic Species in Human Anastomotic Fluids

Zach Collier:
Stochasticity Among Antibiotic Resistance Profiles Of Common Burn-Related Pathogens Over A Six-Year Period

Poster Competition Winners

Erin McAuley:
The Role of Sox2 in Prostate Epithelium Development, Regeneration and Hyperplasia

Melinda Stack:
NSCLC Sensitivity to Jak2 Inhibition and Identification of PD-L1 as Potential Target of Jak Inhibitor-Based Therapy

Luke Versten:
Morphine and its Major Metabolite Morphine-3-glucuronide after the Phenotype of Enteroccocus Faecalis Increasing its Capacity to Colonize and Disrupt Intestinal Anastomotic Tissues 

Hussein A. Zeineddine:
Micro-Computed Tomography in Murine Models of Brain Disease

Abstract Competition Winners

Irina Balyasnikova, PhD
Changbin Shi, PhD

Jason Miska, PhD
Julius Kim, PhD

Monika Krezalek, MD
Javed Khader Eliyas, MD

Carolina Mora Solano
Alan Chang

Poster Competition Winners

Zehra Tekin, PhD
Jianjun Chen, PhD
Laura Humphries, MD
Puneet Singh, MD