Welcome to the Paleo-oncology Research Organization's (PRO's) first blog post!
We are very excited to launch this blog and to invite you all to ponder and discuss topics relating to cancer, archaeology, history, medicine, disease, and anthropology (though we will not necessarily limit our discussions to these areas)! Our vision for this blog is that it will serve as a relaxed space to engage readers in discussions and disseminate information about bioarchaeology and the history of cancer and other diseases. We hope to keep our topics interesting and will be inviting informed guest bloggers to present different perspectives and ideas. For this post, we will keep it short and sweet and provide a brief introduction to PRO and our team.
The Paleo-oncology Research Organization (PRO) was formed following our current Executive Director’s diagnosis with a rare type of ovarian cancer. A truly badass bioarchaeologist, Kathryn Hunt pondered the history of cancer while enduring surgeries and chemotherapy, and before she had completed her recovery, PRO had been born. Having attended conferences together regularly, Kathryn proposed the idea of the Paleo-oncology Research Organization to her trusted colleagues, Jennifer Willoughby, Casey Kirkpatrick, and Rose Campbell, who all excitedly agreed to help make this dream a reality. The first official PRO meeting was held between conference lectures over lunch in a Tennessee diner and the meeting minutes were written on a napkin!
Since that first meeting, PRO has worked tirelessly to: construct a professional website, host a conference symposium, develop a newsletter and a presence on social media, set up a contract with a non-profit third party administrator, create a business plan, disseminate paleo-oncological research and data… We also have many projects in progress and exciting news that cannot yet be announced, but we are itching to tell you everything!
Ultimately, the PRO team strives to establish a long-term non-profit organization that will facilitate paleo-oncological (and bioarchaeological) research, both through financial and academic support. We are advocates for multi-disciplinary collaboration, open-access information, and public education. Through our efforts, we hope to increase awareness of the existence and impact of cancer in ancient societies. We also strive to improve bioarchaeological methods for the identification of cancer while investigating the evolution and developmental patterns of cancer and neoplastic diseases throughout history. Now, we don’t want to ramble on too much about PRO, so if you want to check us out, you can visit www.cancerantiquity.org, find us on facebook or follow us on Twitter @cancerantiquity.
Now that our obligatory (oBLOGitory? haha.. not that funny?..ok) introduction is complete, stay tuned for our next blog, scheduled for the American Cancer Society’s Survivors’ Day (June 7th)!