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  • Writer's pictureKiran Dhillon

Join the CVI Circle this June

Friday, June 15th-16th, 2023 In-person in Seattle, Washington & Virtually

The CVI Circle - Empowering Patients, Advancing Science ("The CVI Circle") is an event organized by the Cancer Vaccine Institute at the University of Washington to bring together patients, clinicians, and researchers. We are proud to partner with our amazing Patient Advisory Council the planning of this event. Our goal is for everyone - patients, clinicians, & scientists - to have the opportunity to participate and take away new information to support our collective mission to end cancer. The CVI Circle will include a patient reunion, research updates from CVI faculty, panels on the patient clinical trial experience, addressing disparities in clinical trial access, and patient engagement in research and advocacy, lab tours, and opportunities for patients to share their stories and experiences. Panels will be comprised of past CVI clinical trial participants, CVI team members, and our collaborators. Registration is now closed. Email Kiran Dhillon at to inquire further if you missed the registration and would like to attend.

June 15 - CVI Patient Reunion (in-person only) We will be hosting a reunion reception on the evening of Thursday, June 15, 2023 for patients who have previously participated in clinical trials at the Cancer Vaccine Institute or the Tumor Vaccine Group. The reunion is an opportunity for patients from different CVI/TVG clinical trials to meet each other and connect. Registration is required and is included as part of the event registration process (see below). Note that the Patient Reunion is limited to past CVI patients and their guest and is only offered in-person in Seattle on June 15th.

June 16 - Conference with Research Updates and Panels (in-person & virtual) Research presentations and panels will take place in a one-day conference held on Friday, June 16, 2023 (8am - 7pm) in-person at the University of Washington South Lake Union campus in Seattle, WA, and virtually over zoom. Registration is required to attend. There is no cost to register. See below for full program and registration information.

  • Research Update - CVI scientists share research results and the future of cancer vaccines

  • Clinical Trial Experience - A patient’s perspective how we can make it easier for patients to participate

  • Patient Advocacy - How patients can engage with research, research funding, and other advocacy activities

  • Addressing Disparities in Access to Clinical Trials - Discussion on how we can improve recruitment of patients from diverse and underserved patient populations

  • Lab Tours - CVI scientists will lead tours of our laboratory so you can see science in action

Who Should Attend The CVI Circle is an open to everyone.

Clinicians/Scientists: The event may be of interest to clinicians, scientists, and trainees who work in oncology and tumor immunology with an interest in integrating the patient experience in their research and clinical trial design, improving recruitment from diverse populations, and connecting with potential research advocates.

Patients: The event may be of great interest to patients diagnosed with cancer and their family & friends who are interested in learning more about vaccine and immunotherapy research, patient advocacy, outreach to diverse populations, and interest in connecting with other patients and cancer researchers and clinicians.



Friday, June 16, 2023, 8:00am - 7:00pm

8:00am - 8:30am

Coffee and pastries

8:30am - 8:45pm


Dr. Nora Disis (CVI Founder & Director) and Dr. Kiran Dhillon (CVI Executive Director)

8:45am - 9:00am

Why we take on cancer

Dr. Shaveta Vinayak (Oncologist) & Michelle Whitney (Patient)

9:00am - 10:30am

CVI Clinical Trials Research Update & QA

Breast Cancer Vaccines & Immune Therapies

Dr. Will Gwin

CVI Faculty

Assistant Professor, UW Medical Oncology

Ovarian Cancer Vaccines & Immune Therapies

Dr. John Liao

CVI Faculty

Associate Professor, UW Obstetrics and Gynecology

Other Immune Research and Future Directions

Dr. Nora Disis

CVI Director

Associate Dean, Translational Science

Professor of Medicine

Helen B. Slonaker Endowed Professorship for Cancer Research

ACS Clinical Research Professor

Editor in Chief, JAMA Oncology


10:30am - 10:45am

Coffee break

10:45am - 12;00pm

Patient Experience in Clinical Trials Panel

Doreen Higgins, RN (Moderator)

CVI Clinical Research Nurse (Retired)

CVI Clinical Trial Participant Panelists: Michelle Whitney (ovarian cancer)

Anita Triolo (breast cancer)

Kim Czepiga (breast cancer)

Stephanie Ninaud (breast cancer)

12:00pm - 1:00pm


12:45pm - 2pm

CVI Lab Tours

2:00pm - 3:15pm

Increasing access to Clinical Trials for Diverse Populations Panel

Dr. Shaveta Vinayak (Moderator)

Breast Cancer Oncologist

Director of Clinical Trials at CVI

Associate Professor, UW Medical Oncology


Bridgette Heampstead

Founder of Cierra Sisters

Dr. Yaw Nyame

Assistant Professor of Urology, UW/Fred Hutch

Dr. Molly Tokaz

Hematology/Oncology Fellow, UW/ Fred Hutch

3:15pm - 3:30pm

Coffee Break

3:30pm - 4:45pm

Patient Engagement in Research and Advocacy Panel

Dr. Kiran Dhillon (Moderator)

CVI Executive Director, Patient Advocate


Kristi Blair

Founder of Wings of Karen

Member of CVI Patient Advisory & Development Councils

Teri Pollastro

Patient Advocate (breast cancer)

Member of CVI Patient Advisory Council

Jamie Crase

Patient Advocate (ovarian cancer)

Dr. Elizabeth Swisher

Gynecologic Oncologist

UW School of Medicine professor

4:45pm - 5:00pm

Closing Remarks & Reflections

Dr. Nora Disis & Dr. Kiran Dhillon

5:00pm - 7:00pm


*subject to change


The location for the June 15th patient reunion event will be shared by email with registrants. The June 16th conference will be held in person at the address below and virtually (link to be emailed to registrants).

Orin Smith Auditorium (Building C)

University of Washington, South Lake Union Campus

850 Republican Street

Seattle, WA 98109


Discounted hotel booking is no longer available.


Contact Dr. Kiran Dhillon, CVI Executive Director, for more information at


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