Alums Discuss Cancer Therapies
by Matthew Green

On Thursday night, students, faculty, community members and visitors filled the lecture hall in the new science center to hear top medical experts discuss new cancer treatments currently being tested and applied.
The symposium, entitled “New Horizons In Cancer Therapies, ” featured four speakers, all of whom are Oberlin alumni and have been responsible for significant advances in various aspects of cancer treatment.
Dr. Raphael E. Pollock (OC ’72), professor of cancer biology and surgery, is the chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology and head of the division of surgery at the Universiy of Texas Medical Center. While attending Oberlin, Pollock was a history major and only studied medicine after graduating. He spoke on contemporary management of soft tissue cancer.
Dr. David F. Ranney (OC ’65) is the managing director of Global Biomedical Solutions, located in Dallas, Texas. His presentation addressed tumor drug targeting and imaging.
Dr. Harlan W. Waksal (OC ’75) is executive vice president and chief operating officer of ImClone Systems, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company. He discussed molecular targets in cancer therapies.
The final speaker of the evening was Dr. Herbert C. Morse (OC ’65), who is the chief of the Laboratory of Immunopathology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He addressed new technologies to “fingerprint” cancers.
The symposium was organized by Robin Treichel and Jan Thornton, both professors of biology at Oberlin.
“Essentially we wanted an event that would illustrate the high caliber of education at Oberlin, particularly in the sciences,” Treichel said. She delivered the first presentation of the evening, introducing the speakers and presenting a brief introduction to cancer biology.
“We selected the topic of cancer therapy because this past year has seen the introduction of several new types of anti-cancer therapy which are the culmination of 30 years of vigorous research into cancer,” she said.
“We also thought that cancer was a topic that would be of wide interest to the college community and to the wider Oberlin and Northeast Ohio communities.” Treichel emphazised the event’s potential for bringing together “town and gown” in a highly educational environment. She also noted that having distinguished alumni return to campus was a way of providing current science students with valuable resources for advice concerning career decisions.
“Finally, we wanted to celebrate our new science facilities,” Treichel added.

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