On May 24, Peter Gillies (founding director, New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health- NJIFNH) gave the welcome and introduction for the Public Forum session of the Annual Retreat on Cancer Research in New Jersey. The title of the forum was “Kids and Cancer: The Obesity Connection” and its purpose was to raise awareness that, in addition to diabetes and heart disease, obesity is also a major risk factor for cancer. The forum was sponsored by The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, NJIFNH, and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute. A new video produced by Dena Seidel, director of the Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking, was shown that emphasized the role of obesity in cancer and how researchers from UMDNJ and Rutgers can work together at the obesity-cancer interface.
The keynote address was given by Dr. John Milner, chief, Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute. Expert perspectives were given by Elisa Bandera, professor of epidemiology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Medical School, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Tracy Anthony (Nutritional Sciences); Chung S. Yang, professor and John L. Colaizzi Endowed Chair in Pharmacy, Department of Chemical Biology and director, Center for Cancer Prevention Research at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Questions and answers were moderated by Michael Gallo, professor, Fellow Academy of Toxicological Sciences, Toxicology Division, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.