Newsletter Draft


One Research Court, Suite 200

Rockville, MD 20850

Ph: 301-948-3033

Fax: 301-948-2242

Email: [We need a new email]

Open Education for Cancer Newsletter

Dedicated to Open Global Cancer Education

Lead Organization

The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)

Supporting organization

Capital Technology Information Services (CTIS)

Date: January 2009

Editor: Dianne F Kaseman



The OERC executive committee has made considerable progress this year and will soon begin a new relationship with MERLOT, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and On-Line Teaching, California State University System. MERLOT will house an online repository of donor contributed, categorized cancer learning materials (clinical guides, courses, research summaries, etc.). Contributing partners are currently being identified and are being asked to submit materials. This initial phase of the project will permit immediate worldwide access to cancer education material. The Creative Commons policy will serve as the guide intellectual property matters.


OERC plans to be vital and far reaching in its ultimate impact. To clarify the overall direction of the OERC project the following mission statement is provided:

• To create a open resource repository of cancer educational materials covering diverse aspects of oncology

• To promote global sharing of cancer educational resources as proposed in the 2007 WHO report on cancer

• To utilize knowledge sharing to assist countries develop cancer control strategies

• To employ educational resources to enhance the capacities of physicians, nurses and care givers in developing countries to diagnose and treat cancer patients

• To provide free access to cutting edge basic and clinical cancer research information in user friendly format

• To contribute to the development of a research infrastructure and a research ethos for cancer care and prevention at a global level

INCTR The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research

INTCR is a supporting organiztion for OERC and some of its dynamic activity is highlighted.

INCTR’s 8th Meeting on Cancer in Countries with Limited Resources will be held in Antalya, Turkey in March 2009 (22-24th). The meeting will, as usual, including keynote lectures, reports from INCTR programs, educational/scientific sessions, workshops, and “Meet the Expert” sessions. The first day will include lectures by INCTR award winners who have contributed significantly to cancer control in developing countries. INCTR members will have the opportunity to present their own work either, as an oral presentation or poster, based on submitted abstracts.

The educational/scientific sessions will encompass a broad range of topics, among them education and research in low resource settings, including the use of open access resources for education, ethical issues that are of particular importance in low and middle income countries, infectious diseases and cancer, AIDS associated malignancies, cancers in women and children, hematological malignancies, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and palliative care. Lawrence Lessin, MD and chair of the OERC will make a presentation of the OERC project. New contributors and users will be invited during the conference. There will be ample opportunities for discussion and exchange of ideas. INCTR provides as many scholarships as possible for those who would be unable, otherwise, to attend the meeting. Currently, INCTR is a part of the executive committee developing and leading OERC.


It is a privilege and honor to recognize the members of the OERC steering committee. The members are linked to various organizations but do not necessarily represent the organizational opinions. Members of the steering committee will be asked to assist in identifying contributing members and users and to advise the project development. The members include to date:

1. Gracemarie Bricalli, European Society for Medical Oncology

2. Dianne F. Kaseman, PhD,RN, Health Care Consulting

3. Norman Coleman, NCI/DCTD

4. Leslie Derr, NCI/CBIIT

5. Joe Harford, NCI/OIA

6. Svetlana Jezdic, ESMA

7. Larry Lessin, WCI/WHC

8. Ian Magrath, INCTR

9. Brenda Nevidjon, Oncology Nursing Society, Duke University

10. Aziza Shad, Georgetown Pediatric oncologist

11. Raj Shah, CTIS, CEO

12. Anil Srivastava, CTIS

13. Stephan Thieringer, Across World

14. Victor Vuchic, Flora and William Hewlett Foundation

This news letter is featuring just a few of the steering committee members and other will be featured in future newsletters.


Dr. Joe Harford serves as Director of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) of the National Cancer Institute with responsibility for a number of interactions involving the NCI and non-U.S. cancer research institutions. Dr. Harford has a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D in biochemistry. His research career focused on receptor-mediated processes and post-transcriptional regulation of genes involved in cellular iron metabolism. He has published over 100 scientific papers and served as the Series Editor for Modern Cell Biology. He edited the volume mRNA Metabolism and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation for this series. Dr. Harford is a founding editor for Current Protocols in Cell Biology and for Short Protocols in Cell Biology.

Dr. Svetlana Jezdic joined ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) Head Office in 2007 to contribute her knowledge as a medical oncologist. She holds an MD, MSc degree in internal medicine and oncology from the School of Medicine, University in Belgrade, Serbia. Since joining ESMO as a member in 2000, she has been involved in various ESMO committee projects (Web Working Group, Medical Oncology Status in Europe and Young Oncologists Committee). In 2004 she passed the ESMO Examination in medical oncology and in 2005 received an ESMO Foundation Translational Research Unit Grant at Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. She is also a member of the ASCO Professional Development Committee (Career Development Subcommittee) and serves as liaison to the ASCO International Affairs Committee. Before joining the ESMO staff, she spent nine years as a practicing medical oncologist dedicated to care and treatment of cancer patients at the Clinic for Medical Oncology, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia. Her cross-functional task within the ESMO Head Office is to focus on providing medical and scientific input to the ESMO various projects and activities. She is a staff coordinator of the ESMO-ASCO Global Core Curriculum Task Force for training in medical oncology.


Dr. Ian Magrath is an oncologist specialized in the molecular characterization
and treatment of hematological malignancies. He worked at the NCI, Bethesda
for 25 years before becoming the President of INCTR some 10 years ago.
Since that time he has focused, consistent with the organization's mission,
on building capacity for cancer control in low and middle income countries -
particularly in the context of cancers in women and children.

Mr. Raj Shah is a businessman and CEO committed to making a difference in the healthcare industry with a specific focus on clinical research for underserved and minority population. In his commitment to use health IT and health education, to transform health disparity to health equality. Mr. Shah has leveraged business, non-profit and philanthropy segments in improving productivity, efficiency and quality in the healthcare industry. Mr. Shah has built a proven model that harnesses the power of each of these segments with proper use of the technologies, especially the information technology. Mr. Shah believes that by building scalable information applications and systems; and by reusing, realigning, and retrofitting technologies, methods, knowledge and training; one can transfer the capacity from the developed healthcare area to the underdeveloped healthcare segments (health disparity) of healthcare to meet the needs of local, national, and global communities at a much lower cost.

Over the past 35 years, as a businessman, Mr. Shah has worked extensively in the areas of health, energy, environment, financial engineering, management consulting, technology development, and infrastructure development projects. Mr. Shah has directed over $1 billion in business through his management role with two Fortune 100 companies and his current company, CTIS, Inc. CTIS builds information applications and systems for the full spectrum of disease management ranging from awareness, prevention, epidemiology, clinical research, clinical trials, disease treatment and post treatment support. CTIS’s work also improves the speed of the workflows that move biomedical discoveries rapidly from clinical testing into clinical practice. The informatics applications provide an optimization and harmonization in meeting regulatory/standards compliance, information integrity/quality and highest patient safety. Currently, CTIS provides services to National Institutes of health (NIH) organizations in the areas of cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart and diabetes with over $300 million in contracts performed. CTIS’s systems have received several major awards including the NIH Directors Award, CIO magazine, Computerworld and the British Medical Journal for its best practices.

Over the last 10 years, as a non-profit institute supporter, Mr. Shah has been committed to corporate citizenship in the local community supporting the minority and underserved populations’ healthcare need. Through the i-Bharti Health organization and also CTIS, Inc. a strategy and plan was developed to apply the power of information technology. While many companies in the world can apply the power of technology to solve complex problems, Mr. Shah wanted to make a difference applying the same power of high technology to solve simple problems of human health for the minority and underserved in the U.S. and worldwide developing countries.

Stephan Thieringer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of AcrossWorld Education Company Inc. Previously he was the COO of Giunti Labs North America and CEO of GTF Systems for 6 years. Both organizations were leading providers of e-Learning, digital knowledge asset management and mobile learning content management solutions (LCMS).

A leader in the movement for ubiquitous information access, Mr. Thieringer represented his organizations on the global advisory board of The Open Knowledge Initiative™ (O.K.I.)—whose charter is to develop an open and extensible architecture for learning technology for higher education. Stephan is also a member of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

A frequent and popular speaker on topics related to knowledge access, digital asset management, and mobile learning, Mr. Thieringer has been featured in, and has contributed to, a number of regional and national business publications and educational journals. A citizen of Stuttgart, Germany and U.S. resident since 1991, Stephan received his MBA from the University of Lucerne (Switzerland) in 1986, holds a honoris causa doctorate in education.

Victor Vuchic

s focus in the Education Program is on technology-based grants in the area of Open Educational Resources. For eight years before joining the Foundation, he worked as an e-business management consultant for both start-ups and large-scale companies in Silicon Valley. His work has been in domains such as wireless, online retail, music and rich media, high tech, and content management. Vic's skills are focused on user-centric business analysis, that is, helping companies refocus their strategies and operations around end users' needs.

He holds a B.S.E. in systems science engineering focused on telecommunications from the University of Pennsylvania, and most recently completed his Ed.M. in the Learning, Design & Technology Program at Stanford University. Vic also received a scholarship and attended the Berklee College of Music during his undergraduate years. When not working, Vic enjoys cooking, brewing, playing music, sports, mountain guiding, winter survival camping, and international travel.


The institute of Medicine and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation cosponsored a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Building from Sept. 3-4, 2008. The meeting entitled, Open Educational Resources in Health Symposium, was attended by participants from around the world and three of OERC’s executive committee (Dr. Larry Lessin, Dr. Dianne Kaseman and Mr. Anil Srivastava). Some of the featured speakers included David T. Stern, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, Ph.D., President, IOM; and Catherine Casserly, Ph.D. Director of the OER resouces initiative, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Other speakers addressed regional OER Health projects and issues as well as Creative Commons. An outgrowth of this symposium is a national OER for Health Planning initiative. OERC is part of the planning steering committee and is currently assisting in the development of an OER for health white paper. It is anticipated that this work will help guide the awarding of funds for OER health grants and project activities.


The OERC Executive Committee would like to welcome its newest member, Andrea Okrentowich. Andrea is the administrative executive and professional writer based in Connecticut. Her company, Creative Nonprofit Solutions, assists nonprofit organizations in their organizing, funding and marketing ventures. Andrea joined OERC as executive coordinator, to organize and assist the OERC members.

When she is not working, Andrea is an advocate for a grassroots organization known as the Public Housing Resident Network. She devotes many hours to speaking out for public housing resident rights. As an organizer, she works with many residents throughout Connecticut to assist them in persuading lawmakers to create laws that will provide them safe housing and a successful future.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

Subscription expired — please renew

Pro account upgrade has expired for this site and the site is now locked. If you are the master administrator for this site, please renew your subscription or delete your outstanding sites or stored files, so that your account fits in the free plan.