Oliver Bogler, PhD
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Director, Center for Cancer Training National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dr. Oliver Bogler studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, completed his PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London, and did post-docs at the Salk Institute and the Ludwig Institute in San Diego. He was on faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, Henry Ford Hospital, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he also served as Director of Basic Research for the Brain Tumor Center. His work focused on EGFR signaling and novel platinum compounds in glioblastoma.
In 2010, Dr. Bogler became MD Anderson’s Vice President for Global Academic Programs and fostered cancer research and training across the globe. In 2011, he was also appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, stewarded MD Anderson’s education mission, and led a team that supported 1,700 faculty and more than 2,000 trainees. In 2018, he became COO at the ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico. In 2020 he joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as Director of the Center for Cancer Training.
In 2012, Dr. Bogler was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and shared his journey on a blog at malebreastcancerblog.org. He has advocated for more inclusiveness in clinical research for the 1% of breast cancer patients who are men and has served as patient representative of ECOG’s male breast cancer registry trial.
Read more about Oliver Bogler’s breast cancer journey.
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- Biography Oliver Bogler, PhD Director, Center for Cancer Training, National Cancer Institute Oliver studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, completed his PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London and did post-docs at the Salk Institute, and the Ludwig Institute, San Diego. He was on facultu at Virginia Commonwealth University, Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he also served as director of basic research for the Brain Tumor Center. His work focused on EGFR signaling and novel platinum compounds in glioblastoma. In 2010, he became MD Anderson’s Vice President for Global Academic Programs supporting a network of 35 Sister Institutions in 22 countries and fostered cancer research and training across the globe. In 2011, he was also appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, stewarded MD Anderson’s education mission and accreditation, and oversaw 300 people, who supported 1,700 faculty and more than 2,000 trainees and students. In 2018 he became COO at the ECHO Institute at the University of New Mexico, and helped democratize scarce expert knowledge to improve services to the underserved in healthcare, education and beyond. In 2020 Oliver joined the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Training which supports the goal of training cancer researchers for the 21st century.
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Oliver Bogler, PhD
Dr. Bogler studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and completed his PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London in 1991. Following post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute, and the Ludwig Institute, San Diego Branch, he held faculty appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University (1997-2000), Henry Ford Hospital (2000-2005) and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (2005-2018). At MD Anderson he initially served as Director of Basic Research for the Brain Tumor Center. His research focused on EGFR signaling and novel platinum compounds in glioblastoma. In 2010, he became Vice President for Global Academic Programs and managed a network of 35 Sister Institutions in 22 countries, with a total investment in global cancer collaborations of $12M over 7 years and an annual conference with over 800 participants. In 2011, he was also appointed Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs where he stewarded MD Anderson’s education mission and accreditation, and oversaw 300 people, who delivered support for 1,700 faculty and more than 2,000 trainees and students. In 2018 Oliver joined the ECHO Institute as COO because the opportunity to be a part of the dynamic, talented and dedicated group of people at the heart of the ECHO movement matches his passions for making a difference in the world and working in a value-driven organization. He focuses on the execution of Project ECHO’s strategy to touch 1 billion lives by 2025.
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Fireside Chat with Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell Inside Cancer Careers
In this episode, we talk to Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell, NCI’s new director, who was recorded live at the NCI Transition Career Development Workshop. Dr. Rathmell shared her career journey and the importance of supporting the next generation of cancer researchers. She shares valuable insights on topics such as diversifying the cancer research workforce, the National Cancer Plan, leading NCI, Princess Dave, and much more. W. Kimryn Rathmell, M.D., Ph.D. NCI Transition Career Development Workshop Cancer Genome Atlas NCI Experimental Therapeutics Program (NExT) NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program V-FIRST Program Ad: Rising Scholars Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC) Alliance National Cancer Plan TRANSCRIPT S2-03 Fireside Chat with Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell Oliver Bogler Hello and welcome to Inside Cancer Careers, a podcast from the National Cancer Institute where we explore all the different ways people fight cancer and hear their stories. I'm your host, Oliver Bogler from NCI's Center for Cancer Training. Today, we have a very special episode for you - a conversation with our new NCI Director, Dr. Kimryn Rathmell. My colleague Dr. Nas Zahir, Director of the Cancer Training Branch and I chatted with Dr. Rathmell at the recent Transition Career Development Workshop which Nas and her team held in January. Let’s listen. Nas Zahir It's really a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you, Dr. Rathmell. You are now the 17th, NCI director, and you became the 17th director in December. So congratulations. And thank you for joining us today. Kimryn Rathmell Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here. Nas Zahir So we have so many great questions that I'm sure listeners will appreciate your perspective on. To kick us off with a bit of introduction. Can you please tell us a little bit about your background? Kimryn Rathmell Sure. You know, reflecting on a question like that is is always interesting, and how do you land as the director of the NCI right? So, so my background is that I'm a physician scientist, I'm a medical oncologist. I have a PhD in biophysics, my laboratory does cancer biology, we're molecular biologists, and we're interested in everything from molecules in cancer cells that that drive tumorigenesis to the interactions of those cells, with the rest of the host, and how you might target that therapeutically. So you know, I've been working in that space for 20, 30 years, and have had the experience of doing a lot of training. So this is a great place for me to be kind of getting my feet wet here, but also running clinical trials, being a part of The Cancer Genome Atlas, doing some drug development, the NExT program, so a lot of different parts that have interacted with the NCI. And then as well, I've had a lot of years as an administrator. So put it all together. And this is sort of the perfect uniting job for me. Nas Zahir So I know, it's only been a few weeks, but what has it been like to join NCI so far? You know, as the director of NCI is reality versus what your expectations were? Kimryn Rathmell Oh, well, so it's thrilling, and it has exceeded all expectations. So, you know, I came into this because I thought it would be thrilling and it has been even more so. The people here are fantastic. The mission is just irreproachable, and the opportunities to to impact cancer from so many different directions. You know, it's, it's, I feel like a kid in a candy shop here. So I'm having really a great time. Oliver Bogler My thanks, also Dr. Rathmell, for joining us at this Transition Career Development Workshop. We invited our workshop attendees to send in some questions. And I'd like to ask you one of those now, what
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Brain Doctor Becomes Study Subject After Rare Male Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Dr. Oliver Bogler said he wants to find answers for male breast cancer patients.
— -- A doctor more accustomed to studying cancer under a microscope has become a study subject himself due to a rare diagnosis of male breast cancer .
Dr. Oliver Bogler, a professor of neurosurgery and senior vice president of academic affairs at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, spent much of his professional life studying cancer tumors.
But when he found a lump in his chest in 2012, Bogler, like many other patients, at first tried to convince himself it wasn't cancer.
"I observed it for a few months, I worried about it I looked up things online," he told ABC News, noting that he at first hoped it would go away. "It certainly refused to go away. I finally decided to get it checked out."
A primary care doctor referred Bogler to an oncologist, who confirmed he had breast cancer, which is extremely rare in men. Just 1 percent of breast cancer patients are male, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
"It was pretty shocking. It was a moment you don’t forget when you have cancer," Bogler said.
Even though he had years of in-depth knowledge about cancer, he said getting his diagnosis is "a very fundamental shift in your life."
Bogler had actually been through the process before. His wife was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer years earlier. Now going through his own treatment, Bogler was surprised his treatment plan was similar to his wife's plan from years earlier.
"I very quickly realized that the male disease is an orphan disease in the sense that there wasn't primary research on men," he explained. "The treatment my wife received and what [I]received were practically identical."
Bogler explained that because there are so few male breast cancer patients, doctors extrapolate care plans based on data gleaned from female patients. While the chemotherapy treatment and radiation was effective for Bogler, he was surprised at how few research trials on breast cancer gave men even the possibility in participating.
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About 2,350 men are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year, compared to 231,840 women, according to the American Cancer Society. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is 1 in 1,000, compared to 1 in 8 for women.
Bogler's own research showed that about two-thirds of studies on breast cancer exclude men. He is now on a mission to get doctors to consider male breast cancer patients in their research and treatment plans.
"One of the things I’m advocating for is as they design clinical trials, if they choose to exclude men, they should have a good sound reason to exclude men," Bogler said.
He said he knows many researchers will use previous templates when writing a new study, so they don't think about including men. Bogler has already spoken to the American Society of Breast Surgeons and has actively started participating in trials. He's had tissue sent to be part of various studies and is currently in an immunotherapy trial at MD Anderson, where he was treated and where he works.
He said it will be key to raise awareness about the disease among men, so that they consider getting checked out. While it's a small percentage of overall cases, men often do not do as well as female breast cancer patients because they are diagnosed at a later stage.
"We also need to educate the medical professionals," to raise awareness, he said. "It’s going to be a long-term thing and be hugely important."
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NIH All About Grants Podcast: What Early Career Researchers Should Know (Part 1) – the Hidden Curriculum
Embarking on a career in biomedicine is more than doing experiments and writing NIH grant applications. How does one learn about other important skills early in their research career, and what exactly are they?
This episode of a two-part NIH All About Grants Podcast mini-series explores the “hidden curriculum” for early career researchers. Our conversation features hosts of two NIH podcasts that delve into topics of interest for researchers seeking independence and other considerations related to career progression. The guests are podcasters Dr. Oliver Bogler, host of Inside Cancer Careers from the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Lauren Ullrich, co-host of Building Up the Nerve from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Here we will relay experiences and lessons learned on finding the right mentor, importance of open communication, networking, career progression and opportunities, and much more.
“We know that education in general, it’s not only what you learn in the formal classroom, but it’s also this other hidden curriculum that’s the values, and the beliefs, and the behaviors, and all these pieces of scientific culture that are implicitly there. What are the norms and practices of being a scientist?” – Dr. Lauren Ullrich
“One of the themes that comes out is the importance of connecting with other people that can help you find that right insight, guide you in the projects you’re doing, or in the hidden curriculum … How do you build those relationships? How do you get those jobs? And, how do you get those grants and papers published?” – Dr. Oliver Bogler
Stay tuned until the very end of our conversation to catch a trailer for Inside Cancer Careers as well. In part 2 coming soon, we will discuss knowing more about yourself and your research as you consider applying for NIH support.
NIH’s All About Grants episodes can also be heard on iTunes and Spotify . Have an idea for a future podcast? Email [email protected] . We love suggestions!
Is this really what we should be talking about with early career scientists? This – is what NIH thinks is important? Networking and ‘practice’? Some other topics of interest include: unchanged and unhinged modular budget of $250k/year vs. scientific work and cost expectations, exorbitant indirect pay rates that provide researchers with 0 real support and instead bloat the administration, misguided and misleading grant application processes where NIH refuses to respect its own timelines and straps postdocs in limbo, absolutely violent and long non-arbitrated review process with unhelpful POs that do not go beyond “well you can try again”, incomprehensible burnout rates among early career scientists, psychological abuse and hostile work environment protections that do not exist and that NIH did not even track until a few years ago? … should I go on? This Kumbaya approach and the lectures on the importance of networking – do you think it really helps anyone but the egos of the ‘various career scientists’ that happily giggled on this podcast while sharing close to 0 actually useful information? When is this going to be a useful enterprise? What are you doing?
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Cancer Research Training in the Era of COVID-19
April 8, 2020 , by Dr. Oliver Bogler
The newly appointed director of the Center for Cancer Training (CCT), Dr. Oliver Bogler, discusses the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for the cancer research training community and advises trainees on how to continue to build their portfolio and networks. If you are a research mentor reading this, please share this blog with your trainees.
Oliver Bogler, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Cancer Training
In January, I joined NCI as director of the Center for Cancer Training (CCT). At CCT, I have an exciting opportunity to focus on training and career development programs and to foster a 21st century workforce that advances cancer research through a scientifically integrated approach. Each day, I am inspired by NCI’s deep commitment to sustain and accelerate progress against cancer, and to support those in the formative years of their cancer research careers.
Recently, readers of this blog heard from NCI Director Norman E. Sharpless, M.D., who addressed the grantee community in a blog about NCI grant funding and operations during the COVID-19 emergency . Soon after that post, Dr. Sharpless and I discussed the importance of reaching out to our research trainees about the disruptions they are facing due to COVID-19.
In some cases, research trainees may be the principal investigator on their F30, F31, F32, F99/K00, K99/R00, K08, K22 or a legacy K-series award. In other cases, those aspiring to become cancer investigators may be supported by a T32 training grant or are working with principal investigators who have an R01 or some other NCI grant.
The uncertainty surrounding the rapidly evolving COVID-19 public health emergency is having a disproportionate effect on research trainees. Because their training positions are time-limited, every month counts in the race to gain the skills necessary to become independent investigators. As we quickly discovered during the past few weeks, the reduced ability to engage with other professionals—due to the physical distancing essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19—raises challenges in many work environments. For those training to become cancer researchers, however, physical distancing and reduced interactions pose special problems.
The always-ticking “career clock” affects eligibility for training awards and the window of time for career transitions supported by NCI awards like the F99/K00 , K99/R00 , and K22 . A pause of several months in research is a hardship for many dedicated to cancer discovery, but for trainees it’s both a challenge and an impediment.
As the leader of training initiatives at NCI, I want to assure our community of trainees that NCI genuinely understands the concerns you feel. We are working to address the current challenges to the fullest extent possible.
In all instances, NIH and NCI will be flexible in how training awards impacted by COVID-19 are managed. This includes considering requests to extend phased awards such as the K22 and K99, including transitions to faculty positions.
NCI will also consider requests to extend Early-Stage Investigator status and extensions to National Research Service Awards (NRSA) and fellowship awards for those affected by COVID-19. For career development awards, such as K08 and K12 awards, we are also allowing temporary reductions in the effort requirements for clinician–scientists being asked to concentrate on patient care during the current public health emergency.
In all this, NCI is fully aligned with NIH’s stance on working flexibly with our grantees and trainees, as outlined on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding . In particular, I recommend trainees read section VII of the FAQs where you will find details related to Training, Fellowship, and Career Development Awards.
As we’ve witnessed, COVID-19 is an infectious disease where developments are often fast-moving. That’s why I recommend you bookmark and periodically check the NIH page and FAQs I cited above to get the latest guidance. If you still have questions, please reach out to the program officer listed on your notice of award. My NCI colleagues will do their best to address your questions.
In the spirit of learning to dance in the rain while we wait for the storm to subside, let me share some ideas on making good use of your time away from the bench. No doubt you and your colleagues are already engaged in activities such as these, but perhaps the following may offer you some fresh ideas.
The period of hibernation we are experiencing during the COVID-19 emergency is a great time to catch up on journals, analyze data, work on manuscripts, and prepare grant applications. This is also an opportunity to consider your career plans, acquire new skills (master statistical methods, learn more about analytical tools, and build your coding expertise), update your CV, and expand your professional network.
Many institutions—your home institution, for example—offer online training or are expanding training to meet increased demand, and that may be a good place to start your search. Of course, don’t forget that your library may also have free e-books you can access. Many top institutions maintain online educational platforms that offer excellent content. And, the internet abounds with free educational materials, which come with the usual cautions about assessing the content to ensure it’s reliable.
Lastly, overcoming the isolation of physical distancing is also important. I highly recommend building or joining virtual communities where you can share knowledge, insights, and advice with your peers. Good places to start include the resources of your home institution, such as trainee associations. National organizations, such as the National Postdoctoral Association , also offer useful resources.
Thinking about your career aspirations during this challenging COVID-19 period will allow you to continue to make progress on your cancer research goals, and we at NCI are here to help and support you. As always, thank you for your inspiring dedication to advancing cancer research.
We welcome your comments on this post. All comments must follow our comment policy .
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UAAP: Oliver Almadro to coach UP women’s volleyball team
Coach Oliver Almadro with UP Fighting Maroons.–CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines volleyball program director Oliver Almadro will have a dual role this UAAP Season 86 volleyball tournaments as he will also call the shots for the Fighting Maroons’ women’s volleyball team.
UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development on Friday announced that Almadro will also sit down as the head coach of the UP women’s team, while coach Sergio “Vip” Isada will call the shots for the men’s squad when the season fires off on February 17.
Almadro, who was appointed as the volleyball program director in August last year, accepted the challenge to help the Fighting Maroons rise from the ashes after only winning one of their 14 games last year.
“I’m eager to take on this challenge of re-energizing the UP Fight in volleyball. There will be challenges, of course, but this is a blessing for me and hopefully, with the all-out support of the UP community and the guidance of the Lord, we will be able to compete,” said Almadro.
The veteran coach, who won a total of five championships, two silver, and two bronze medals during his stay at Ateneo as men’s and women’s coach, seeks to impart his winning culture to the Maroons, bannered by Season 85 2nd-Best Middle Blocker Niña Ytang and skipper Abi Goc together with returning veterans Jewel Encarnacion and Nica Celis.
Almadro will have former UP captain and his Petro Gazz player Nicole Tiamzon and former Fighting Maroon Jarod Hubalde as his assistant coaches in rebuilding the program.
“Ang malinaw naman sa gusto nating mangyari is we want to compete and we want to win. Pero ‘di natin mamadaliin. We will go through the process, kaya rin natin pinabalik as coaches yung mga may alam talaga sa UP Fight in volleyball,” he said.
Meanwhile, Isada will have Carlo Cabatingan as his deputy with UPOASD Director Bo Perasol and new backer Strong Group Athletics on their side.
The men’s team, led by Louis Gamban and Gelo Lagando, is also hoping to rise from a one-win stint last Season 85.
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