Hillman Fellows Program

2020-2021 Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research Program

We at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center (HCC) 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 the 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 competitive opportunity for postdoctoral candidates, which is currently accepting applications.

We are excited to announce the new Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research for the award period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Hillman Senior Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

Riyue Bao, PhD: Dr. Bao joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 as a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and as a member of the HCC Cancer Biology Program. Upon arrival, she was also appointed Co-Director of Cancer Bioinformatic Services. As a data scientist, her work focuses on developing machine learning frameworks to integrate multi-dimensional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiome data to identify new cancer drug targets. She is interested in designing methods to improve automated data processing, storage and communication.

Rivka Colen, MD: Dr. Colen, Associate Professor of Radiology and member of the Cancer Therapeutics Program, moved from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to Pittsburgh in 2019. Dr. Colen serves as Co-Director of the In Vivo Imaging Facility. She also is Director of the UPMC Radiogenomics Laboratory and the Imaging Response Assessment Core at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Indeed, she was an early pioneer in the field of high-dimensional quantitative imaging analytics, radiomics and radiome sequencing, and radiogenomics in solid tumors. Her overarching research interests lie in advanced imaging analytics, imaging biomarkers and image-guided therapy.

Haitao Guo, PhD: Dr. Guo, who joined the University of Pittsburgh as a Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, was appointed as a Co-leader of the HCC Cancer Virology Program. His research focuses on the viral pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and antiviral discovery. He is specifically interested in investigating the molecular mechanisms of HBV-induced liver cancer and using this information to develop new therapeutic targets.
 
Jason Luke, MD, FACP: Dr. Luke is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the new Cancer Immunotherapeutic Center at HCC. A medical oncologist and clinical researcher, he focuses on translational therapies for malignant melanoma and early phase drug development for advanced cancers, in particular immunotherapies.  As director of UPMC Hillman’s Cancer Immunotherapeutics Center, he has oversight of all early phase immunotherapy studies at HCC in collaboration with Dr. Leisha Emens. Dr. Luke has received multiple awards for research and clinical care, including the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award and the ASCO Merit Award to name just a few.

Hillman Early-Career Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

Ravi Patel, MD, PhD: In 2020, Dr. Patel joined HCC as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. The recipient of numerous awards, including the HDR Fellowship Award from the American Brachytherapy Society, the Research Fellow Award from the Radiological Society of North America, and the Hayden Family Foundation Young Investigator Award from ASCO, he currently is supported by a K08 to study the use of molecular-targeted radioisotopes to prime immune responses at local and distant metastatic tumor sites.
 
 Nicole Scheff, PhD: Dr. Scheff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and member of the Biobehavioral Cancer Control Program. Dr. Scheff’s research program focuses primarily on pain and neuroimmune communication in head and neck cancer. Impressively, she has successfully competed for funding throughout her career and currently holds a K99/R00 to evaluate the functional consequences of sensory neuronal invasion in oral cancer pain and carcinogenesis.
 
 Ioannis Zervantonakis, PhD: Dr. Zervantonakis, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and member of the Cancer Biology Program, integrates microfluidics, systems biology modeling, and in vivo experiments to investigate the role of the tumor microenvironment on breast and ovarian cancer growth, metastasis and drug resistance. He was awarded a K99/R00 to analyze the tumor-stroma signaling that mediates HER2-therapy resistance in breast cancer.

Pascal Zinn, MD, PhD: Dr. Zinn joined HCC as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Associate Director of the Hillman Cancer Center Neurosurgical service.  Dr. Zinn also serves as Director of the Molecular Tumor Biology and Personalized Precision Therapy Lab, which focuses on developing personalized approaches in tumor treatments and patient care. As such, one of his main research interests lies in developing a genetically-engineered humanoid brain cancer model using patient derived specimens. Using this model, he has begun to explore the potential of the Zika virus as an oncolytic agent. As part of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Genome Atlas phenotype research group, his work also explores the relationship of brain cancer magnetic resonance imaging and large-scale genomic expression profiles of messenger- and micro-RNA landscapes, contributing to the field of imaging- and radiogenomics.

Hillman Clinician-Scientist Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

In addition to newly recruited faculty, we recognize internal faculty who have dedicated significant effort to both top-notch patient care and innovative cancer research.

Nduka Amankulor, MD: Dr. Amankulor, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Director of Adult Neurosurgical Oncology and member of the Cancer Biology Program, is a surgeon-scientist with an interest in exploring mechanisms of tumor immune suppression in gliomas. In particular, his research focuses on characterizing mechanisms of tumor-mediated local and systemic immune suppression in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutant gliomas. He has also contributed to the development of an oncolytic virus expressing natural killer cell ligands as a new therapeutic strategy for treatment of gliomas and other malignancies. Oncorus Inc. licensed this virus for a first-in-man clinical trial in glioblastoma.

Kurt Weiss, MD: Dr. Weiss, Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and member of the Cancer Biology Program, is an orthopedic surgeon and clinician scientist who has extensive experience in basic, translational, and clinical research of metastatic osteosarcoma and lung cancer. He directs the Musculoskeletal Oncology Laboratory, which is dedicated to developing a better understanding musculoskeletal biology as well as to creating and maintaining a musculoskeletal oncology tumor registry and tissue bank. Moreover, he is a founding member of Pittsburgh Cure Sarcoma (PCS) and the Pittsburgh Sarcoma Research Collaborative (PSaRC). I have held K08 and R21 awards on sarcoma-related projects.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Developmental Cancer Research Pilots

Carissa Low, PhD: Personalized Data-Driven Activity Modification to Reduce Cancer-Related Fatigue. Fatigue after cancer treatment is common and disabling. Behavior change interventions can reduce fatigue but may be more effective if personalized to each patient. This project aims to harness data from smartphone and wearable sensors to personalize fatigue management and support cancer survivors in learning how their daily activity affects their fatigue.

Jian-Min Yuan, MD, PhD: Geospatial Modeling for Residential Radon Exposure and Cancer Risk in Western Pennsylvania. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for never smokers and may work in concert with smoking in lung cancer development. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s radon database, radon levels in 40% of individual households in Western PA exceed the federal action threshold. This project uses the state radon database, which contains the results of radon testing conducted by state-certified professionals from 1989 to the present, and the PA Cancer Registry to investigate the impacts of radon, smoking, and other risk factors on lung cancer in Western PA through a novel geographic modeling system.

Lan Coffman, MD, PhD and Tullia Bruno, PhD: Investigating the impact of carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells on the formation and function of the immune tumor microenvironment in ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer, the deadliest gynecologic cancer, kills more than 14,000 women yearly. Current immunotherapies have been successful in other cancers but have largely failed in ovarian cancer due to the tumor microenvironment (TME) that shields cancer cells from immune recognition. This project studies how the interaction of carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells and immune cells within the TME impacts tertiary lymphoid structure formation and T regulatory cells to alter immune-mediated cancer killing. The goal of this work is to discover new ways to harness the immune system to kill ovarian cancer.

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD and Da Yang, PhD: Credentialing long non-coding RNAs as biomarkers for invasive lobular breast cancer. Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) is the second most common histological subtype of breast cancer, after the more common invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC). These two subtypes differ in epidemiology, molecular alterations, clinicopathologic aspects, natural history of disease development and progression, as well as cell lineage. Furthermore, ILC is associated with a worse long-term outcome than IDC. Although the biology differs, limited guidelines exist for distinguishing the two subtypes. For example, the main molecular feature of ILC is loss of E-cadherin, but a subset of IDC also has E-cadherin loss. There is a critical need for better biomarkers for consistent diagnosis of ILC to implement precision medicine approaches for this breast cancer subtype. Their preliminary data show that epigenetic features, such as long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), have potential to serve as biomarkers. Thus, this project will comprehensively characterize the lncRNAs landscape in ILC and credential a subset of lncRNAs as biomarkers for ILC.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Team Science Cancer Research

Ronald Buckanovich, MD, PhD and Robert Edwards, MD: Ovarian Cancer SPORE. Ovarian cancer (OvCa) has the third-highest mortality:incidence ratio among all cancers and is the fifth most common cancer killer of women. Despite advances in anti-angiogenic therapy and PARP-inhibitor therapy, to date there has been minimal impact improving cure rates, highlighting the need for novel therapeutic approaches. Immunotherapy is one approach to improve the outcomes of women with OvCa; however, only 10-15% of patients respond to immune checkpoint-inhibitor therapy. They hypothesize that these disappointing results with immune therapies stem from OvCa’s unique immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), which contains numerous immunosuppressive regulatory T cells and carcinoma associated mesenchymal stem cells (CA-MSC) that recruit myeloid derived suppressor cells. The over-arching goal of this proposal is to build an ovarian cancer SPORE program focused on identifying targets in the ovarian TME to create clinical opportunities to improve immune therapy/overall outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer.

James Herman, MD, PhD and Antionette Wozniak, MD: Lung Cancer SPORE. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death in the United States and the World. The lethality of lung cancer is due to diagnosis at late stage and the aggressive nature of this disease. A group of investigators at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center has teamed together to address the most important areas of research to improve the outcomes for lung cancer. Laboratory-based and population-based scientists and clinicians will work together to reduce cancer-related morbidity and deaths by improving on lung cancer screening through the use of a newly developed blood test and improve the treatment of lung cancer, improving upon current targeted therapies and immunotherapies, to further benefit patients.

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. We have recently awarded fellowships to two new postdocs:

  • Bizunesh Abere Alamirew, PhD(mentors: Drs. Chang and Moore)
  • Ashok Kumar, PhD(mentor: Dr. Delgoffe)

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