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Research Retreat

2023 Research Retreat

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB will host its annual Research Retreat on Friday, October 13, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Regions Field. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this important event showcasing the work of our members and trainees. 

Event Registration

All attendees must register using the link below.

Additional help can be found in the FAQ below.

Registration deadline: Friday, October 2, 2023

Register Here
Key Dates

August 15 – Abstract submission deadline

October 2 – Registration deadline

October 9 – Electronic submission of slides for invited speakers

Scientific Abstracts

Thanks for your Abstract submissions, talks have been selected and we will have over 170 posters!


Everyone submitting an abstract will have the opportunity to present their poster. All abstracts will be reviewed by the Retreat Committee, and the top posters will be entered into the poster competition to be judged by independent judges. Researchers are responsible for printing their own posters. Please arrive before 8 a.m. to check in and receive your location assignment. We are planning two sessions so that everyone has the chance to see posters.

Guidelines Here

The Research Retreat will be held at Regions Field on the second floor of the Executive Suites, in the Diamonds Direct Ballroom and Pearl River Club Lounge. Access the Retreat via the Executive Entrance on the north side of the field. Parking is limited, and we encourage walking. There are reserved spots for handicapped attendees in the VIP lot on the south side of the ballpark. All others should park on the street or in any of the nearby decks.

View Map
Digital Abstract Book & Agenda

A draft agenda can be found below. The abstract book will be available closer to the retreat date.

View Agenda


How do I register?

You must fill out the form here. If you make a mistake or have an issue, you can resubmit.

Do I need a Blazer ID to register?


Will there be an abstract book?

There will be a digital abstract book. An email with details will be sent out no later than October 9, 2023.

Is there parking?

Parking is limited. We encourage you to consider walking the short distance from UAB’s campus, carpooling, or ridesharing.  There is street parking and nearby (paid) decks. Handicapped parking will be available at the VIP lot on the South side of the ballpark.

Where do we go at Regions Field?

The Retreat can be accessed through the Executive Entrance on the north side of the ballpark. We will be in the Ballroom and Club Lounge on the second floor. There will be signs and ambassadors to guide you.

Who can register to attend?

Any faculty, staff member, student, or trainee interested in learning more about the research going on at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center may attend. Registration is not restricted to any rank or institution.

Where do I submit my abstract to be considered for a poster or talk?

The abstract submission period is now closed. Everyone who submitted an abstract will present a poster, watch your email for additional details.

Who can submit abstracts? Are they for talks or posters?

The abstract submission period is now closed. Everyone who submitted an abstract will present a poster. Those who were selected for talks have been notified. Check your email for additional details.

Is there a cost to register or submit an abstract?

There is no cost to register, submit an abstract, or present a poster. This is a free event.

How are talks selected?

All abstracts submitted that indicated they were interested in a speaking slot were reviewed by a minimum of three Retreat Committee members. The Committee then met and discussed the submissions and selected those that were meritorious and represented a broad array of O’Neal science. Talks were limited to trainees.

Do I have to stay for the entire retreat?

The Research Retreat ends at 5 p.m. and we hope everyone can stay until then. Attendees may come and go from the retreat as needed. You must be present at the award ceremony to receive an award.

What should I wear to this event?

Standard work attire is expected. All campus codes of conduct and regulations will be in place.

Will meals be provided?

A small continental breakfast will be available in the morning. A full boxed lunch will be available for all attendees. A vegetarian option will be available. Coffee and water will be available throughout the day. There will be beer and hors d’oeuvres at the reception.

What COVID regulations are in place?

We will follow all UAB guidelines, as applicable, at the time of the event.

Will every poster be considered for judging?

Prior to the retreat, every poster will be reviewed by the Retreat Committee and the best abstracts will entered into the poster competition. Each of these posters will be assigned three judges who will evaluate the poster at the retreat. The top posters in each category (see below) will receive a monetary prize.

What is the word limit on abstracts?

300 words, not including authors and title.

What are the awards available to win?

The top trainee posters, and the top posters submitted by others will receive a monetary prize. There is also a prize for rigorous understanding and use if biostatistics (Seng-jaw Soong Award). Note that all speakers will also present their work as a poster. There are no awards for talks, but a speaker could win a poster award.

Trainees: high-school, undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate or medical students

Others: Staff (researchers and clinical trialists), Postdocs, Fellows, Residents and Instructors

Can my lab submit more than one abstract?

There is no limit to the number of abstracts that can be submitted per lab. However, the first author on an abstract will be expected to present the poster, and therefore, there can be only one abstract per first author.

Who is on the Retreat Committee?
  • Narendra Wajapeyee, Ph.D., Committee Chair, Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and Co-Leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program
  • Lisa Zubkoff, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program
  • Satoru Osuka, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and member of the Neuro-Oncology Program
  • Mehmet Akce, M.D., Associate Professor of Hematology and Oncology and member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program
  • Ksenia Matlawska-Wasowska, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology and member of the Cancer Biology and Immunology Program
  • Grayson Gimblet, MSTP Student and representative of the Experimental Therapeutics Program
  • Krystle Ong, Ph.D., Postdoc in Molecular & Cellular Pathology and representative of Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program
  • Courtney Swain, MSTP student and representative of the Cancer Biology and Immunology Program
  • Joelle Saad, Graduate student in Neuroscience and representative of the Neuro-Oncology Program
Who are the poster judges?

Mentors and project PIs of those submitting posters will be asked to judge, along with other O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center members (faculty of UAB or affiliated institutions).

How many posters will be allowed to present?

All abstracts submitted will be presented as posters, including those selected for talks. Last year there were 162 posters! We plan to have 12-16 talks again this year.

Who do I contact for questions?

Myisha Anderson


2022 Research Retreat

Thank you to everyone who attended the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB‘s annual Research Retreat on Thursday, October 27, 2022, at Regions Field. See photos from the event below.

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