Mission and Purposes
The mission of the Tumor Microenvironment Working Group (hereafter, TME/AACR) is to provide an ongoing forum for the scholarly discussion of the critical role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer development and progression, as well as of the scientific opportunities in treatment and prevention. TME/AACR brings together a diverse group of scientists with this common interest to guide AACR in its activities related to the tumor microenvironment.
TME/AACR supports its mission and AACR's mission to prevent and cure cancer by:
- Promoting research of the tumor microenvironment as an integral part of cancer research;
- Fostering an atmosphere of open dialogue among researchers in all sub-disciplines of cancer research related to the study of the tumor microenvironment;
- Stimulating new developments in science, technology, and policies to advance the field;
- Sponsoring scientific initiatives such as symposia, forums, and conferences that provide a venue for the dissemination and discussion of advances related to the tumor microenvironment;
- Strengthening this important scientific area within AACR's journals by encouraging manuscript submissions and other relevant communications, and;
- Supporting the education, training, and professional advancement of early-career scientists to drive interest in the field.
Article I. Membership
Section 1. Any member of AACR may become a member of TME/AACR.
Section 2. Dues for membership, if any, will be assessed on an annual basis at a rate set by the AACR Board of Directors.
Article II. Steering Committee
Section 1. The leadership body of TME/AACR shall be known as the Steering Committee.
Section 2. Steering Committee members will:
(a) Encourage and maintain active participation of all scientists interested in the study of the tumor microenvironment in AACR activities;
(b) Promote AACR and its programs related to the tumor microenvironment;
(c) Represent the field of tumor microenvironment research by acting as a liaison and advisory body to the AACR Board of Directors and Annual Meeting Program Committee; and
(d) Serve as representatives of those engaged in tumor microenvironment research at the AACR Annual Meeting and during other functions as deemed appropriate by the AACR leadership.
Section 3. All AACR members in good standing who are active members of TME/AACR are eligible to serve on the TME/AACR Steering Committee.
Section 4. The Steering Committee shall be comprised of no more than nine members of TME/AACR as follows:
(a) Three Officers, including a Chairperson, Chairperson-Elect, and Past Chairperson, each serving one-year terms.
(b) Four additional members, each serving staggered two-year terms.
(c) The President or President-designate of the Metastasis Research Society and of the International Cancer Microenvironment Society, each serving two-year, non-renewable terms.
Section 5. Officers of the Steering Committee shall be elected according to the following process:
(a) The slate for Chairperson-Elect will be developed by a Nominating Committee consisting of five TME/AACR members in good standing. Two of these members will be the current Chairperson and Past Chairperson of the Steering Committee. No other member of the Steering Committee may serve on the Nominating Committee. The remaining three members of the Nominating Committee will be appointed by the Chairperson of the Steering Committee in consultation with the CEO of AACR, with one of these three members serving as Nominating Committee Chairperson;
(b) The Nominating Committee will identify two candidates to stand for election; and
(c) A ballot will be developed summarizing each candidate's professional background and a 250-word statement outlining the candidate's intended goals for TME/AACR that will be sent to all members of TME/AACR for a popular vote.
Section 7. The Chairperson-Elect shall be elected by popular vote of TME/AACR members, and will assume office at the Annual Town Meeting of TME/AACR, and will relinquish office at the Annual Town Meeting one year later. The Chairperson-Elect will assume the office of Chairperson upon the expiration of his or her term of office, and the Chairperson will assume the office of Past Chairperson upon the expiration of his or her term of office. The Past Chairperson will retire from the Steering Committee upon the expiration of his or her term of office.
Section 8. Duties and Responsibilities of the Officers
(a) The Chairperson shall be the chief Officer of the Steering Committee and shall preside over all Steering Committee meetings, Town Meetings, and functions of TME/AACR. The Chairperson shall prepare reports to the AACR Board of Directors; serve as the main point of contact between the AACR and the Steering Committee; oversee the Committees of TME/AACR, if any; and direct the activities approved by the AACR Board of Directors;
(b) The Chairperson-Elect shall assume the duties of the Chairperson in his or her absence, and shall oversee those activities as delegated by the Chairperson; and
(c) The Past Chairperson shall serve to preserve programmatic and leadership continuity, and shall assist in the functions and programs of the Steering Committee as needed.
Section 9. The Chairperson-Elect shall appoint two members of the Steering Committee to serve for two-year terms, to commence at the beginning of the Chairperson-Elect's term of office, and concluding two years later, when the Chairperson-Elect assumes the office of Past Chairperson.
Section 10. A Steering Committee member who has failed to attend three consecutive Steering Committee meetings shall be considered to have resigned. Reinstatement shall be considered by the Steering Committee upon receipt of a written petition from that member. A Steering Committee member may be dismissed upon unanimous vote of the Steering Committee for failure to perform his or her duties and responsibilities. Grounds for dismissal include, but are not limited to: the failure to perform duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Steering Committee Chairperson; the failure to attend three consecutive Steering Committee meetings; and the failure to act in accordance with this Charter, the Policies of the Steering Committee, or with the By-Laws and Policies of the AACR.
Section 11. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, the Chairperson-Elect shall assume the office of Chairperson for the remainder of the unexpired term, and shall then continue as Chairperson for the next term of office. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson-Elect, the Steering Committee shall hold an election following the procedure in Sections 5 of this Article II. In the event of a vacancy of a Steering Committee member's seat, the Chairperson-Elect shall appoint a member in good standing of the Working Group to serve for the remainder of the term of office.
Article III. Meetings and Quorum
Section 1. TME/AACR shall hold an annual Town Meeting for members and those interested in the tumor microenvironment, during the AACR Annual Meeting.
Section 2. Meetings of the Steering Committee may be called by the Chairperson or, in case of the Chairperson's absence or disability, by the Chairperson-Elect. Notice of all meetings shall be given so as to reach the members of the Steering Committee at least seven calendar days before the date of the meeting.
Section 3. The Steering Committee will conduct meetings via telecommunications. In-person meetings may be called with the approval of the AACR leadership.
Section 4. A simple majority of the Steering Committee members shall constitute a quorum at all of its meetings.
Article IV. Committees
Section 1. The Chairperson, with the consultation of the Steering Committee and approval of the AACR leadership, may establish standing and ad hoc Committees to carry out the work of the Steering Committee.
Section 2. Unless otherwise governed within this Charter, the Chairperson, with the consultation of the Steering Committee and approval of the AACR leadership, will appoint the Committee Chairperson(s) and Committee member(s).
Section 3. The Chairperson, with the consultation of the Steering Committee and approval of the AACR leadership, may dissolve standing and ad hoc Committees.
Article V. Communications Policy
Section 1. An AACR Staff Liaison shall be appointed by the AACR Chief Executive Officer to serve as the facilitator of communication between the AACR and the TME/AACR Steering Committee, and to perform the administrative functions necessary to successfully execute the initiatives of the Steering Committee in keeping with the policies of the AACR.
Section 2. The AACR must be informed of and approve all activities well in advance of initiation. Approval is based on feedback from the AACR Board of Directors, the compatibility of the proposed agenda items with those of the AACR, staff availability to complete the tasks necessary to implement the project, and the overall feasibility of the item(s) contingent upon financial resources. Written proposals for programs along with an estimated budget must be submitted to the AACR Chief Executive Officer prior to submission to the Board of Directors.
Section 3. All official communications (i.e., new initiatives, new programs, etc.) coming from the Steering Committee must first be approved by the AACR. All e-mails, faxes, and letters generated by the TME/AACR Steering Committee should be copied to the designated AACR Staff Liaison.
Article VI. Amendments
Section 1. Any member of TME/AACR may submit a written proposal to amend the Charter of TME/AACR. However, only a member of the Steering Committee may raise the amendment for consideration by the Steering Committee.
Section 2. The proposed amendment must be submitted in writing to the Steering Committee for review and vote. A 2/3 vote in favor is necessary in order for an amendment to be considered for further disposition by the AACR Chief Executive Officer and the AACR Board of Directors. The proposed amendment must be reviewed and approved by the AACR Chief Executive Officer prior to consideration by the Board.