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Inaugural Sohn Conference: Pediatric Cancer in a Post-genomic World to Bring Knowledge from Lab to Bedside

Presented by The New York Academy of Sciences and The Sohn Conference Foundation, new conference to showcase advances in biomedicine and how they are translating to better treatment options, as well as new avenues for research.

Published March 23, 2016

NEW YORK, March 23, 2016 — The New York Academy of Sciences and The Sohn Conference Foundation today announced the inaugural Sohn Conference: Pediatric Cancer in a Post-genomic World, taking place March 30 to April 1, 2016 in New York City. Sponsored by The Sohn Conference Foundation, this conference is the first of its kind to convene leaders in the global pediatric cancer community to share latest developments in research and treatment.

"The Sohn Conference Foundation has brought together elite thought leaders in the global investing community for more than 20 years, and with the launch of this conference in partnership with The New York Academy of Sciences, we strive to do the same in the pediatric cancer space. By breaking down the silos of science and encouraging the industry to collaborate on advancements in research, we can bring life-saving treatments to children battling cancer across the globe," says Evan Sohn, Vice President, The Sohn Conference Foundation.

In the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children and globally, more than 250,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. Advances in cancer research and treatment have helped more children survive into adulthood, but have also underscored the need for more precise therapeutic options for this vulnerable population. Further, because the genetic profiles of children are less complex than adults, pediatric cancer research is critical not only to children, but to efforts that will unlock the cure for other cancers.

"Childhood cancers are frequently distinct from adult cancers with regard to their underlying etiology, thereby potentially requiring different treatment regimens," says Melanie Brickman Stynes, PhD, MSc, Director of Life Sciences Conferences, The New York Academy of Sciences. "It is therefore critical that we bring people together from across sectors to spotlight current and future research that enhances pediatric cancer therapeutic options."

This 2.5-day conference will convene leading researchers, clinicians, pediatric cancer advocates, and industry and governmental stakeholders from around the world. The highly-regarded speaker lineup includes scientists who are on the forefront of pediatric cancer research, who will discuss the latest biomedical advancements that will have a tangible impact on children fighting cancer.

"It's tremendously exciting to be part of this important meeting. The speaker list is a real 'Who's Who' of the leaders in paediatric cancer genomics. The timing for this meeting that will bring the world's thought leaders together to discuss and debate how best to bring the amazing advances we have made in the lab to the bedside of children with cancer is perfect," says Richard Gilbertson, MD, PhD, Director, Cambridge Cancer Center, The University of Cambridge. "I am looking forward to the science that will be presented and discussed as well as the ripples of progress that will spread out long after the last talk is over."

Gilbertson will kick off the conference with a keynote speech on "The Successes and Future Direction of Pediatric Cancer Research and Therapy." Craig B. Thompson, MD, President and CEO, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will present a second keynote speech on "The Role of Epigenetic and Metabolic Mutations in Stem Cell Maintenance and Pediatric Cancers."

The conference agenda includes sessions on emerging cutting-edge basic and clinical research in epigenetics, mechanisms of metastasis and disease recurrence, disease risk factors, and diagnostics in pediatric oncology, as well as novel therapies and strategies to improve clinical development and treatment access.

"Bridging the fields of genomics and immunotherapy together is our greatest hope," says conference speaker and member of the scientific organizing committee John Maris, MD, Pediatric Oncologist, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania, of his work on neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial solid tumor in childhood. "We will be increasingly individualizing therapy based on the unique features of the patients and their heritable genome and the evolving cancer genome/proteome. The road to translating research findings into novel therapies is long, but we're working on it."

For media inquiries, including press passes to the in-person conference or the simulcast webinar, contact Diana Friedman,, 631-838-4985.

About The Sohn Conference Foundation

The Sohn Conference Foundation is dedicated to the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases. The Foundation supports cutting-edge medical research, state-of-the-art research equipment, and innovative programs to ensure that children with cancer survive and thrive. The Foundation raises its funds through premier investment conferences and special events, including its renowned annual New York Sohn Investment Conference.

Founded in 1995, the Conference honors the memory of Ira Sohn, a successful trader on Wall Street who lost his battle with cancer at age 29. The Foundation has expanded its reach to include the Sohn London Conference, Sohn San Francisco Conference, Sohn Canada Conference, Sohn Hong Kong Conference, and Sohn Tel Aviv Conference. To date, the Foundation has raised more than $65 million. More information on The Sohn Conference Foundation can be found here:

About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at


Marie Gentile
Director, Communications