Hillman Fellows Program 2019-2020

2019-2020 Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research Program

We at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center are honored to continue our collaboration with Henry L. Hillman Foundation to decrease the cancer burden throughout western Pennsylvania and beyond. To accomplish this task, we have invested the generous gift bestowed this year by Henry L. Hillman Foundation to support innovative research and education through faculty recruitment and retention, pilot projects, and trainee programs. The program also supports a new competitive opportunity for postdoctoral candidates.

We are excited to announce the new Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research for the award period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

Hillman Senior Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

Leisha Emens, MD, PhD: Dr. Emens, who joined the University of Pittsburgh as a Professor of Medicine in August 2018, has been appointed as a Co-leader of the Hillman Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program as well as Director of Translational Immunotherapy for the Women’s Cancer Research Center. As a physician-scientist internationally recognized for her work in breast cancer immunotherapy, Dr. Emens sits on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committees for Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapy and Oncology Drugs, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Her expertise in clinical trials has also led to her appointment as Chair of the Steering Committee/Data Safety Monitoring Committee for three global cancer immunotherapy trials. She will play a vital role in leading the effort to advance translational cancer immunotherapy at HCC.

Heath Skinner, MD, PhD: Dr. Skinner came to HCC from MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2018 as an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and member of the Genome Stability Program. He is a physician-scientist with a focus on improving response to radiotherapy and has successfully competed for several NIH grants to evaluate new therapeutic strategies. Given his expertise in bench to bedside research, Dr. Skinner will play a key role in expanding translational research at HCC.

Antoinette Wozniak, MD, FACP, FASCO: Dr. Wozniak joined Hillman in 2018 as a Professor of Medicine and now serves as the Associate Director for Clinical Research and the Co-Director of the UPMC Lung Cancer Center of Excellence. She is a member of the Cancer Therapeutic Program. Her interests lie in the development of novel therapeutics for lung cancer and over the course of her 40-year career, she has led more than 200 clinical trials. She holds leadership roles in multiple national and international committees; for example, she co-chairs the Joint Scientific Advisory Committee for the American Lung Association Interception Dream Team. Dr. Wozniak will help oversee Hillman translational and clinical research.

Hillman Early-Career Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

Yi-Nan Gong, PhD: Dr. Gong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology and a member in the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program. He studies the immune consequences of various types of cell death. In particular, he is interested in the underlying mechanisms that regulate cell death, how these mechanisms impact the immune system, and whether or not reprogramming cell death can alter an anti-tumor response.

Yael Nechemia-Arbely, PhD: Dr. Nechemia-Arbely is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology as well as a member of the Genome Stability Program. She seeks to advance the understanding of the structure, composition, and maintenance of epigenetically-defined human centromeres through DNA replication, aging, and cellular differentiation.

Hatice Osmanbeyoglu, MS, PhD: Dr. Osmanbeyoglu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and a member of the Cancer Biology Program. She received a K99/R00 pathway to independence award to develop data-driven computational approaches to link cellular signaling transduction pathways with transcriptional pathways for precision medicine.

Jacob Stewart-Ornstein, PhD: Dr. Stewart-Ornstein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology and is a member of the Genome Stability Program. A recipient of the K99/R00 pathway to independence award, Dr. Stewart-Ornstein aims to understand how cells sense, quantify and respond to DNA damage across cell types and species with the overarching goal of improving cancer therapy.

Man-Tzu Wang, PhD: Dr. Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology as well as a member of the Cancer Biology Program. Her research focuses on understanding how the oncogene KRAS drives malignances, including its role in promoting tumors to escape a response by the immune sstem. By doing so, she hopes to bridge the gap between tumor signaling and immunology for translational cancer immunotherapy. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at San Francisco, she received the Lustgarten Foundation Research Investigator Award and successfully applied for two patents based on her work.

Hillman Career Acceleration Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

In addition to recruitment, recognition of talented and successful internal faculty plays an important role in promoting innovative cancer research.

Greg Delgoffe, PhD: Dr. Delgoffe serves as an Assistant Professor of Immunology and is a member of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program. Since joining HCC in July 2014, he has shown remarkable success in establishing his research program to better understand the impact of tumor microenvironment on the T cell subsets that infiltrate the tumor, which is vital for improving cancer immunotherapy. Not only has his work resulted high impact publications, but also in several grants, including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. He has received multiple awards throughout his career. Most recently, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) named him as an AACR NextGen Star; a program designed to increase the visibility of promising junior investigators.

Carissa Low, PhD: In 2013, Dr. Low joined the faculty of HCC as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine with subsequent secondary appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Biomedical Informatics. She is a member of the Biobehavioral Cancer Control Program. Her research focuses on the use of technology to assess and target health behaviors, physiological stress, and symptoms during cancer treatment. The NCI recently awarded her a R37 MERIT grant to develop a novel mobile sensing system for monitoring symptoms during cancer treatment, which has the potential to significantly improve patient care. Her success in this area has led her to become the inaugural Director of the Mobile Sensing and Health Institute in 2018, a joint effort between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Developmental Cancer Research Pilots

Yuri Bunimovich, MD, PhD: Improving immune checkpoint therapy efficacy by targeting neurogenic inflammation. Cancer progression depends on the interaction between the nervous system and immune cells – termed neurogenic inflammation; however, therapies directed at inhibiting cancer-related neurogenic inflammation are lacking. Dr. Bunimovich and colleagues recently provided the first evidence that sensory nerves and the cells that support them, Schwann cells, contribute to melanoma growth and metastasis by modulating the immune response. Inhibiting neurogenic inflammation by targeting nerve repair mechanisms significantly decreases melanoma growth and metastasis. Therefore, melanoma-associated neurogenic inflammation may be one important factor in cancer’s resistance to treatment with immunotherapy, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors. They will test whether combining immune checkpoint inhibitors with a therapy that targets neurogenic inflammation is a superior treatment strategy compared with either method alone.

Reinhard Hinterleitner, PhD: Gut barrier dysfunction as risk factor for hematopoietic malignancies. In this pilot project, Dr. Hinterleitner and colleagues will determine the role of gut-derived microbial signals in the development of acute and chronic myeloid leukemias, types of myeloid malignancies. Hematopoietic stem cells reside in the bone marrow and give rise to different types of blood cells. Certain genetic mutations acquired with age in hematopoietic stem cells (e.g. Tet2, Dnmt3a) increase the risk for myeloid malignancies. However, these mutations alone only set the stage, and additional signals are required to develop disease. Thier goal is to understand how interactions of certain gut microbes with the immune system can impair the intestinal barrier, allowing the movement of bacteria to immune organs and thereby drive the development of myeloid malignancies in at-risk individuals.

Collaborative Research

Ronald Buckanovich, MD, PhD & Anda Vlad, MD, PhD: ALDH inhibitors as an adjuvant to checkpoint inhibitor therapy in cancer. Ovarian cancer (OvCa) ranks 5th in women’s cancer deaths, underscoring the need for new therapeutic approaches. Aldehyde dehydrogenase, an enzyme expressed in chemotherapy-resistant OvCa cells, represents a new therapeutic target for OvCa. Drs. Buckanovich and Vlad identified a new ALDH inhibitor (ALDHi) and showed that ALDHi treatment of OvCa cell induces an inflammatory cell death, while ALDHi treatment of immune cells enhances proliferation of anti-tumor T cells. The goals of this study are (i) to determine the mechanism whereby ALDHi induces inflammatory OvCa cell death, and (ii) determine if ALDHi can be used to enhance immunotherapy.

Yang Liu, PhD & Laura Stabile, PhD: Super-resolution imaging of higher-order heterochromatin structure to detect early lung carcinogenesis. Early detection of lung cancer remains sub-optimal. Heterochromatin, the most condensed form of DNA packaged inside the cell nucleus, is essential for protecting genome stability, and disrupted heterochromatin structure can promote tumorigenesis. Due to the limited resolution, conventional microscopy cannot accurately detect the nanoscale disruption of the heterochromatin structure. Recent advances in super-resolution microscopy allow direct visualization of molecular structure at a resolution of 20-30 nm. This project will evaluate whether nanoscale disruption of heterochromatin structure can be detected in early lung carcinogenesis. The success of this pilot study will build the foundation for a novel approach to improve early lung cancer detection.

Peter Lucas, MD, PhD & Steffi Oesterreich, PhD: G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in breast cancer: novel regulators of the tumor microenvironment. Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer among women worldwide. However, breast cancer is not a single disease, but rather a heterogeneous disease with a variety of molecular drivers regulating its development, progression, and response to therapy. Thus, a central goal in breast cancer research is to identify novel genetic alterations defining specific subsets of this cancer, and to develop targeted therapies against these alterations. Drs. Lucas and Oesterreich have determined that a select group of proteins, called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), promote metastatic spread of certain breast cancers. Further, these GPCRs help cancers to avoid detection and elimination by the body’s immune system. This grant will uncover the mechanisms by which GPCRs contribute to breast cancer progression and uncover new strategies for abrogating their activity and unleashing anti-tumor immunity for better patient outcomes.

Thomas Smithgall, PhD, Michael Boyiadzis, MD & Paul Johnston, MD, FACS: Precision targeting of myeloid Src-family kinases in acute myeloid leukemia. Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a relatively common form of blood cancer in adults, is often caused by over-expression or activating mutations in cellular signaling proteins known as tyrosine kinases. While chemical inhibitors of these signaling proteins have been developed for clinical use, patients often relapse due to the emergence of cancer cells expressing kinase mutants that no longer respond to the drug. Their project will explore a new class of inhibitors that block a previously unrecognized kinase signaling molecule important for AML cell growth and survival. These compounds, when combined with existing inhibitors, are likely to enhance the anti-AML response and reduce the risk of relapse, thereby promoting longer survival.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Team Science Cancer Research

Michael Lotze, MD & Leonard Appleman, MD, PhD: Driving deep responses in renal cancer- developing a fundable P01 proposal. Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers. While the FDA has approved the use of immunotherapy for metastatic disease, questions remain regarding the mechanistic role that the immune system plays in kidney cancer. Drs. Lotze and Appleman propose to integrate efforts from the Departments of Surgery, Urology, Bioengineering, Immunology, Medicine, Dermatology, Radiation Oncology, and Pathology to study how kidney tumors and the associated blood vessels are identified and then controlled or eliminated by immune cells. Through gaining a better understanding of these interactions, they hope to lay the groundwork for more effective therapeutic strategies. The goal of this Team Science Award is to fully develop a Program Project (P01) grant application to support this multidisciplinary, multi-investigator effort.

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD & Leisha Emens, MD, PhD: Breast cancer SPORE. Drs. Oesterreich and Emens are continuing to lay the groundwork for a competitive Breast Cancer SPORE grant application. Part of that effort requires the inclusion of highly innovative developmental pilot projects. The breast cancer SPORE team identified two potential projects: “Generation of breast cancer tissue microarrays” (PI: Peter Lucas, MD, PhD) and “Racial comparison of Paclitaxel pharmacokinetics” (PI: Peg Rosenzweig, PhD).

Hillman Trainees

Hillman Medical Student Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine requires that all medical students participate in research. Thus, HCC initiated a new program, Hillman Medical Student Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research, to encourage medical students to select HCC labs. Awardees receive funds that go towards their research projects.

  • Vivian Anyaeche, “Regulators of quiescence of ovarian cancer” (mentor: Dr. Ronald Buckanovich)
  • Kody Armann, “Does nudging providers influence opioid prescribing habits?” (mentor: Dr. Bruce Jacobs)
  • Sean Dooley, “Development of 3D organoid model of osteosarcoma” (mentor: Dr. Kurt Weiss)
  • Ester Goldfeld, “Defining the tumor cell: CA-MSC interactions which mediate ovarian cancer metastasis” (mentor: Dr. Lan Coffman)
  • Edward Sim, “Evaluating the impact of aging on exhaustion and senescence of head and neck cancer patient-derived circulating T and NK cells using a novel spectral cytometry analysis” (mentor: Dr. Robert Ferris)
  • Hermoon Worku, “Assessing the effect of "nudges" on urologist opioid prescribing at UPMC” (mentor: Dr. Bruce Jacobs)

Hillman Postdoctoral Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

The Hillman Postdoctoral Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research provides funds to help support the recruitment of exceptional graduate students and early-stage postdoctoral fellows to pursue leading-edge cancer research in Hillman laboratories. To date, there are currently five Hillman Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Ryan Barnes, PhD (mentor: Dr. Patty Opresko)
  • Ragini Bhargava, PhD (mentor: Dr. Roderick O’Sullivan)
  • Anthony Cilo, PhD (mentor: Dr. Dario Vignali)
  • Sarah Hengel, PhD (mentor: Dr. Kara Bernstein)
  • Haiguang Wang, PhD (mentor: Dr. Dario Vignali)

All Hillman Fellows and Projects

Theme: Lung Cancer Detection and Treatment

James Herman, MD

Discovering DNA Methylation in Lung Cancer for Predictive and Early Detection Biomarkers

Timothy Burns, MD, PhD

Targeting the TWIST1-E2A Pathway to Overcome Acquired Resistence to Erlotinib in EGFR Mutant NSCLC

Theme: Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD

Novel Pathways Mediating Endocrine Resistance in Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer

Carola Neumann, MD

A Role for the Peroxidase PRDX1 to Prevent Breast Cancer by Protecting Rad51 from Oxidation-Induced Inactivation

Mei Zhang, PhD

Characterization and Targeting of Cell Respiration of Tumor-Initiating Cells in Breast Cancer

Theme: Genome Instability, DNA Repair, and Aging

Bennett Van Houten, PhD

Dynamics and Protein Interactions During Nucleotide Excision Repair

Roderick O'Sullivan, PhD

Inhibition of the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres in Human Cancer Cells

Theme: Technology for Precision Medicine William LaFramboise, PhD Diagnostic Sequencing of Solid Tumors Lisa Butterfield, PhD Antigen-Engineered Dendritic Cell Vaccine +/- IFNα-2b Boost for Melanoma Theme: Lung Cancer Prevention and Treatment James Herman, MD Discovering DNA Methylation in Lung Cancer for Predictive and Early Detection Biomarkers Timothy Burns, MD, PhD The Development of TWIST1 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Oncogene-Driven Lung Cancer Linda Robertson, RN, MSN, DrPH Outreach Efforts to Increase Smoking Cessation in Individuals at High Risk for Lung Cancer Theme: Fostering the Next Generation of Scientists Masahiro Shuda, PhD Role of Mitotic 4E-BP1 Phosphorylation in Carcinogenesis Kathy Shair, PhD The Combined Oncogenic Properties of Epstein-Barr Virus LMP1 and LMP2A Proteins Mei Zhang, PhD Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts and the Metastatic Capacity of Breast Cancer Stem Cells Roderick O'Sullivan, PhD Inhibition of the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres in Human Cancer Cells
Theme: Technology for Precision Medicine William LaFramboise, PhD Diagnostic Targeted Deep Sequencing of Solid Tumors Lisa Butterfield, PhD Antigen-Engineered Dendritic Cell Vaccine +/- IFNα-2b Boost for Melanoma Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Edward Chu, MD Protein Kinase D as a Potential Target for the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer Laura Stabile, PhD James Herman, MD Molecular Phenotyping of Lung Cancer Jian Yu, PhD Lin Zhang, PhD Intestinal Protection Against Chemotherapy by a Novel PUMA Inhibitor Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Roderick O'Sullivan, PhD p16/p53-Independent Induction of Senescence by Disruption of Anti-Silencing Function 1
Theme: Technology for Precision Medicine William LaFramboise, PhD Rebecca Jacobson, MD Uma Chandran, PhD, MSIS Diagnostic Targeted Deep Sequencing of Renal Cell Carcinoma Nathan Yates, PhD Application of a Novel Proteomic Method and Apparatus for Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Tissue and Plasma Samples Jan Beumer, PharmD, PhD John Schmitz, PhD Julie Eiseman, PhD Protein Kinase D as a Potential Target for Colorectal Cancer Lisa Butterfield, PhD Antigen-Engineered Dendritic Cell Vaccine +/- IFNα-2b Boost for Melanoma Theme: Fostering the Next Generation of Scientists Timothy Burns, MD, PhD Defining the Role of TWIST1 in Oncogene-Driven Lung Adenocarcinoma Kathy Shair, PhD The Combined Oncogenic Properties of Epstein-Barr Virus LMP1 and LMP2A Proteins Mei Zhang, PhD Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts and the Metastatic Capacity of Breast Cancer Stem Cells
Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Carola Neumann, MD The Role of Prdx1 in DNA Repair Kathy Shair, PhD The Combined Oncogenic Properties of Epstein-Barr Virus LMP1 and LMP2A Yong Wan, PhD The Role of KLF4 in Breast Cancer Gutian Xiao, PhD PDLIM2 in Cancer Biology and Therapy Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Timothy Burns, MD, PhD Defining the Role of TWIST1 in Oncogene-Driven Lung Adenocarcinoma Lesley Butler, MSPH, PhD Matrix Metalloproteinases and Related Compounds as Urinary Biomarkers for Breast Cancer Adrian Lee, PhD Targeting Insulin-Like Growth Factor Receptor in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Saumendra Sarkar, PhD The Role of RIPK1 in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Metastasis Theme: Cancer Stem Cells Shivendra Singh, PhD Targeting of Breast Cancer Stem Cells by Dietary Agents Mei Zhang, PhD Defining the Role of the Cancer Stem Cell Niche in Breast Cancer
Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Kara Bernstein, PhD Elucidating the Function of the Shu Complex during DNA Repair and DNA Replication Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Edward Chu, MD Development of Novel Chinese Herbal Medicines for the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer Steffi Oesterreich, PhD Endocrine Resistance in Invasive Lobular Cancer Nathan Yates, PhD Differential Mass Spectrometry: An Open Analytical Platform for the Discovery and Translation of Molecular Biomarkers Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship Ellen Beckjord, PhD, MPH Promoting Health and Wellness in Adult Cancer Survivors Charles Horn, PhD Selective Breeding of Emesis in Musk Shrews Jian-Min Yuan, MD, PhD Volatile Organic Carcinogen and Toxicant Biomarkers in Relation to Lung Cancer Risk Among Lifelong Nonsmokers Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD Phase I/II Trials of Alpha-DC1 Vaccines in Prostate and Ovarian Cancers
Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies William Bigbee, PhD Proteomics-Based Lung Cancer Biomarker Discovery and Validation Shi-Yuan Cheng, PhD Mechanisms and Inhibition of Anti-Angiogenic Therapy-Induced Glioma Invasion William LaFramboise, PhD Targeted Sequencing of Tumor Specific Renal Cell Carcinoma Chromosomal Regions Identified by High Density SNP Analysis Anna Lokshin, PhD Urine Biomarkers for Early Detection and Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer Hannah Rabinowich, PhD An Unexpected Target for Autophagy Inhibition: Implications for Breast Cancer Therapy Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD The Role of RASSF4 Gene in Melanoma Resistance to Cytotoxic Chemotherapy Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Dorothea Becker, PhD Molecular Analysis and Targeting of Pertinent Oxidative Stress-Response Genes that Shield Advanced Melanoma from Immunosuppression Soldano Ferrone, MD, PhD Xinhui Wang, PhD Combinational Therapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Saumendra Sarkar, PhD Role of TLR Signaling in the Chemopreventive Properties/Actions of Naturally Occurring Isothiocyanates Theresa Whiteside, PhD A Prospective Study of the Effects of Chemoradiotherapy on Regulatory T Cells (Treg) in the Peripheral Circulation of Patients with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck
Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Dorothea Becker, PhD Analysis of ATM Expression and Function in Advanced-Stage Melanomas Shi-Yuan Cheng, PhD Signaling Mechanisms in Glioma Invasion Ole Gjoerup, PhD Investigating Basic Cancer Mechanisms using Polyomavirus Large T Antigen Models Jing Hu, MD, PhD Histone Deacetylase 2 in Human Cancer: Role of Sumoylation-Promoting Activity Bennett Van Houten, PhD Single-Molecule Analysis of Nucleotide Excision Repair Proteins Yong Wan, PhD Regulation of Tumor Microenvironment by APC-Separase in Breast Carcinogenesis Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Albert Donnenberg, PhD Vera Donnenberg, PhD Targeting Treatment Resistance through the Sonic Hedgehog Pathway in Breast Cancer Stefan Duensing, MD Anette Duensing, MD Understanding Cancer and Cancer Drugs to Develop Novel Approaches for Prevention and Treatment William LaFramboise, PhD Identification of a MicroRNA Biomarker Signature for Early Diagnosis and Prognosis of Prostate Cancer Robert Sobol, PhD Tumor Selective Chemotherapy for Glioblastoma: Exploiting Tumor-Specific Defects in NAD+ Biosynthesis Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD Modulation of DNA Repair: Tripartite Inhibition of DNA Repair Pathways using the Combination of Temozolomide, Decitabine, and ABT-888 Qingde Wang, MD, PhD Eradicating Leukemic Cells by Targeting ADAR1 Erik Wiener, PhD A Multistep Targeting Approach to MRI-Based Imaging for Diagnosing Cancer and Treatment Response Lin Zhang, PhD Jian Yu, PhD Cell Death Control in Cancer Chemotherapy and Chemoprevention Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship Talal El Hefnawy, MD, PhD Toward Functional Probiotics that Reduce the Risk of Cancer Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Soldano Ferrone, MD, PhD Adoptive Immunotherapy of Melanoma with Transduced T Cells Stephen Thorne, PhD Use of Oncolytic Viruses to Enhance Immunotherapy of Cancers Nikola Vujanovic, MD, PhD NK Cell-Dendritic Cell Interaction in Cancer XinHui Wang, PhD Development of CSPG4-Specific Monoclonal Antibody-Based Immunotherapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Theme: Pilot Projects Michael Gibson, MD, PhD The establishment of primary esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) heterotransplants will facilitate development of a representative model for preclinical analysis of targeted therapy for EAC that is based on human tumors obtained from patients, which can be used to study mechanisms of drug resistance and to explore future treatments to overcome this resistance. Daniel Johnson, PhD My laboratory works to develop novel therapeutic strategies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We will seek to determine how dasatinib inhibition of SFK proteins leads to restoration of differentiation in AML cells. Bo Liu, PhD The goal of our study is to understand how APC and Axin proteins function in the auto-feedback loop, with the objective of identifying critical targets useful for cancer prevention and therapy.
Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Dorothea Becker, PhD Functional Analysis of the p53 Upstream Regulators ASPP1, ASPP2, and iASPP in Advanced-Stage Melanomas Ole Gjoerup, PhD Investigating Basic Cancer Mechanisms using a Viral T Antigen Model Laura Niedernhofer, MD, PhD Identifying the Cause and Treatments for Age-Related Diseases Richard Steinman, MD, PhD Stromal Therapeutics: Identifying and Interrupting Signals between Normal Cells and Cancer Cells that Contact Them Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Jan Beumer, PharmD, PhD Potentiation of Gemcitabine Cell Toxicity with ABT-888 with a Focus on Pancreatic Cancer William Bigbee, PhD Proteomics-Based Lung Cancer Biomarker Discovery Daniel Johnson, PhD Laboratory Studies to Support the Development of Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trials in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Luyuan Li, PhD Nanoparticle-siRNA Mediated Multiple-Gene Silencing for the Treatment of Lung Cancer Hannah Rabinowich, PhD Modulation of Autophagy to Circumvent Resistance to Chemotherapy of Apoptosis-Defective Breast Cancer Cells Saumendra Sarkar, PhD Novel Modifiers of Toll-like Receptor Signaling Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD Abrogation of Chemotherapy Resistance in Metastatic Melanoma: The Inhibition of Histone Deacetylation and PARP in Combination with Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Stephen Thorne, PhD Identifying Differences in Glycoprotein Motifs on Tumor and Non-Tumor Cells for Targeting with Biological Therapies Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship Dana Bovbjerg, PhD Gynecological Cancer Surgery: Mind-Body Effects in the Patient Experience Wenjun Wang, MD, PhD Tanshinone IIA as a Chemopreventive Agent for Melanoma Theme: Cancer Stem Cells William LaFramboise, PhD Identification of Stem Cells in Normal Prostate and Prostate Cancer as an Underlying Source of Tumor Formation Jonathan Pollett, PhD Concomitant Signal-Induced Transformation of Stem Cells Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Anthony Brickner, PhD Identifying Minor Histocompatibility Antigens Suitable for Immunotherapy of Leukemia and Lymphoma via High-Throughput Genome-Wide Association Studies Hassane Zarour, MD The Role of PD-1 Expression in the Reversion of Tumor Antigen-Specific CD8+ T Cell Dysfunction
Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Pamela Hershberger, PhD How Do Lung Cancer Cells Escape the Growth Inhibitory Effects of Vitamin D? Jing Hu, MD, PhD Regulation of Protein Translation by SUMO Conjugating Pathway Frank Jenkins, PhD Role of Infection, Inflammation, and Genetics in Prostate Cancer Deric Park, MD Growth and Differentiation Control of Glioblastoma Multiforme Cancer Stem Cells through the Notch-1-Stat3 Signaling Pathway Gutian Xiao, PhD Autophagy and Nuclear Factor Kappa-B in Cancer Formation and Cancer Therapy Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Nathan Bahary, MD, PhD Using Zebrafish as a Model to Define Novel Genes and Pathways for New Prevention, Diagnostic, and Treatment Approaches for Human GI Malignancies Thomas Conrads, PhD Paired Stable Isotope Metabolic Tracers (PSIMT): A Novel Approach for Elucidation and Discovery of Drug Metabolites Elieser Gorelik, MD, PhD Chemotherapeutic Drugs and Tumor Cytokine Network Jean Latimer, PhD Biomarkers of Pre-invasive Breast Cancer Aggressiveness Monica Panelli, PhD Immunogenomic/Immunoproteomic Studies using Banked Melanoma Tissue and Blood Samples Qingde Wang, MD, PhD New Strategy for Leukemia Therapy by Eliminating Leukemia Stem Cells through Inhibition of Adenosine Deaminase that Acts on RNA Jian Yu, PhD Role of PUMA-mediated Apoptosis in Cancer Therapy Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship Talal El-Hefnawy, MD, PhD Lung Cancer Link Risk Assessment and Dietary Intervention for Environmental Estrogens Donna Posluszny, PhD Coping with Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients and Caregivers Theme: Cancer Stem Cells Laure Croisille, MD, PhD Identification and Role of Perivascular Cells in Human Prostate Cancer Albert Deleo, PhD Immunotherapy of Cancer Stem Cells Byeong-Chel Lee, PhD Cancer Therapeutics by Targeting Cancer Stem Cells Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Lisa Butterfield, PhD Determinant Spreading in Melanoma Immunotherapy William Chambers, PhD Natural Killer Cell Regulation of Immune Responses: Interactions between CD161 and Clr Markers in Co-Activation of Natural Killer and Dendritic Cells Soldano Ferrone, MD, PhD Immunity to High Molecular Weight-Melanoma Antigen (HMW-MAA)

Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression

Ole Gjoerup, PhD

Checkpoint and Cancer Mechanisms Investigated using an SV40 T Antigen Model

Richard Steinman, MD, PhD

Control of mRNA Stability by Cytokines in Myeloblasts

Birgitte Wittschieben, PhD

Determination of Specific Functions and Regulation of DNA Polymerases involved in DNA Damage Tolerance in Normal and Cancer Cells

John Wittschieben, PhD

Influence of DNA Polymerase Zeta Subunit Rev3L on Tumor Development in Mice

Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies

Leonard Appleman, MD, PhD

Discovery of Novel Drug Targets and Therapeutics in Prostate Cancer

Jan Beumer, PharmD, PhD

Epigenetically Targeted Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

Thomas Conrads, PhD

Development of a Mass Spectrometry Test for Invasive Breast Cancer

Bino John, PhD

"Junk-DNA": a New Paradigm in the Struggle against Cancer

Daniel Johnson, PhD

Translational Studies to Improve Therapy for Leukemia

Luyuan Li, PhD

Development of RHBDF1 siRNA as a Therapeutic Agent for Cancers of Epithelial Cells

Bo Liu, PhD

Auto-Feedback Mechanism of Beta-catenin and Cancer Therapies

Markus Mapara, MD, PhD

Molecular Targeting of Inflammatory Signaling Pathways for Achieving Graft-Versus-Leukemia (GVL) Effects without Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Harish Srinivas, PhD

Estrogen Receptors as Potential Targets for Lung Cancer Treatment

Wenjun Wang, MD, PhD

Foxp3 is a Novel Target for Melanoma Prevention and Therapy

Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship

Faina Linkov, PhD, MPH

Comparison of Effects of Different Types of Exercise on Immune Parameters and Serum Biomarkers

Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy

Anthony Brickner, PhD

Exploiting the Human PANE1 Protein for Precisely Targeted Therapy of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas

Lisa Butterfield, PhD

Determinant Spreading in Melanoma Immunotherapy

Eva Pizzoferrato, PhD

Immune Targeting of Survivin Peptide Epitopes in Patients with Hematologic Malignancies

Nikola Vujanovic, MD, PhD

Cancer Therapy by Enhancing Natural Killer (NK) Cell-Dendritic Cell (DC) Cross-Talk via Membrane-Bound Molecules

Hassane Zarour, MD

Optimization of Cancer Vaccines for Melanoma and other Solid Tumors

Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression William Chambers, PhD Evaluating the Effects of Stress on Spontaneous Breast Cancer Development: A New Paradigm Shi-Yuan Cheng, PhD Signaling Mechanisms in Glioma Invasion Stefan Duensing, MD Genomic Instability Induced by Tumor Viruses: Identification of Molecular Mechanisms and Possible Therapeutic Implications Richard Steinman, MD, PhD The Role of Post-Transcriptional Regulation in Differentiation and Cancer Yong Wan, PhD Functional Proteomic Study of Proteolysis in DNA Damage/Repair and Tumor Formation Joel Weissfeld, MD, MPH Signaling Mechanisms in Glioma Invasion Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Elieser Gorelik, MD, PhD A New Approach in Anticancer Drug Screening Pamela Hershberger, PhD Improving Vitamin D as a Treatment for Lung Cancer by Preventing its Destruction within Tumor Cells Ruth Modzelewski, PhD Tumor Blood Vessel Targeting as a Strategy for Cancer Intervention to Improve Diagnosis and Targeted Treatment Options Mark Nichols, PhD Understanding Resistance to Antihormone Therapy in Breast Cancer Treatment: Developing New RNA Interference Tools and Drug Screens to Find Novel and Effective Therapies Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship Seymour Garte, PhD Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD Interactions Between Genetic Factors and Environmental Exposures in Human Cancer Causation Jing Hu, MD, PhD Targeting Deregulated Transcription Factors and Co-factors for Cancer Prevention Donna Posluszny, PhD Brief Psychosocial Intervention for Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Partners Sanjay Srivastava, PhD Shivendra Singh, PhD Prostate Cancer Prevention by Guggulsterone, a Constituent of Indian Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants Theme: Cancer Stem Cells Qingde Wang, MD, PhD Regulation of NF-kB Signaling Pathway in Cancer Stem Cells and its Clinical Implications Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Lisa Butterfield, PhD John Kirkwood, MD Determinant Spreading in Melanoma Immunotherapy Albert Deleo, PhD Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Type 1 (APDH1), a Novel Tumor Antigen for Development of Vaccines for Immunotherapy of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Michael Lotze, MD Improving on Interleukin 2 Therapy for Cancer Hannah Rabinowich, PhD Harnessing Ncl-1 Anti-Apoptotic Mechanisms for the Protection of T Lymphocytes from Prostate Cancer-Induced Dysfunction Nikola Vujanovic, MD, PhD Cancer Immunotherapy by Stimulation of NK Cell-Dendritic Cell Cross Talk
Theme: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Development and Progression Saleem Khan, PhD Gene Expression Analysis of HPV-Associated Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Theme: Cancer Biomarkers for Early Detection and Development of Targeted Therapies Charles Brown, MD, PhD Targeted Imaging of Cancer/Peptide-guided Magnetic Resonance Agent Luyuan Li, PhD Development of Anti-Angiogenesis Experimental Therapeutics Anna Lokshin, PhD Luminex Analysis of Multiple Serum Markers for Ovarian Cancer Mark Nichols, PhD RHP - Functional siRNA Genomics Jian Yu, PhD Role of PUMA in Modulating Therapeutic Responses of Lung Cancer Theme: Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Survivorship Uddhav Kelavkar, PhDM Prostate Cancer Pilot Study of Afro-Caribbean/Caucasian Populations Theme: Cancer Stem Cells Laure Croisille, MD, PhD Identification of Prostate Cancer "Stem Cells" Vera Donnenberg, PhD Metastatic Breast Cancer Tumor Stem Cells Theme: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Lisa Butterfield, PhD Determinant Spreading in Melanoma Immunotherapy Gurkamal Chatta, MD Immunobiology of Cancer and Aging: Translational Research Robert Ferris, MD, PhD, FACS Targeting HPV E7 Protein for Immunotherapy of Head and Neck Patients