Dinesh Ahirwar, PhD
Mentor: Ramesh Ganju, PhD, College of Medicine, Department of Pathology
Project: Analyzing the role of chemokine CXCL12 in breast cancer progression and metastasis
Project Summary: Investigate how chemokine CXCL12 produced by neighboring cells surrounding the tumor modulate CXCR4 mediated signalling in tumor cells and other cell types that regulate breast cancer progression and metastasis. Understanding the role of CXCL12/CXCR4 signalling pathway will aid in development of novel strategies against breast cancer.
Christopher DeFraia, PhD
Mentor: R. Keith Slotkin, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Molecular Genetics
Project: Genetic dissection of the maintenance, initiation, and re-initiation of epigenetic silencing
Project Summary: Determine the genes responsible for altering the structural organization of the genome, modeling how this process is lost in tumor cells using the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. A better understanding of this process will aid in designing cancer therapies to prevent the loss of genome organization that occurs in tumor cells.
Kenechi Ebede, MD
Mentor: Joanna Groden, MD, PhD, College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics
Project: DNA Repair Mechanisms and Inflammation-Associated Intestinal Cancer In Vivo
Ann-Kathrin Eisfeld, MD
Mentors: Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD & Clara Bloomfield, MD, College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics & Internal Medicine
Project: The genomic basis for BAALC overexpression in AML
Project Summary: Evaluate if and how inherited genomic changes might predispose Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients to fail their treatment. This may help in the future to refine risk-stratification of patients in order to provide them with the best possible treatment options.
Seyed Ali Hosseini, MD, PhD
Mentor: Kay Huebner, PhD, College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics
Project: Chromosome fragility in epithelial cells: role in replication stress and cancer initiation
Project Summary: To investigate the earliest genetic changes occurring in precancerous cells of cancers such as those of breast and lung, to determine if these early genetic changes, breaks in DNA at so-called chromosome fragile sites, contribute to selective growth of precancers and progression to true malignancy. Since damage to fragile site genes occurs in most cancers, determining how damage to these genes contributes to cancer development from the earliest stages may guide further research into prevention of the damage and development of strategies to eliminate cells with damaged fragile site genes.
Lisa Jaremka, PhD
Mentor: Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, College of Medicine, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research
Project: Socioeconomic status, depression, social support, and herpesvirus latency among breast cancer survivors
Alice S. Mims, MD
Mentor: Interim Contact: John Byrd, MD
Project: Manipulating microRNA Expression to Improve Outcome in Cytogenetically Normal Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Alberto Rocci, MD
Mentor: Carlo Croce, MD, College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics
Project: Absolute microRNA expression in plasma cells and serum of multiple myeloma patients: diagnostic and prognostic implications
Project Summary: Investigate the role of a small part of the genome called microRNAs in multiple myeloma. The aims are to better understand why normal cells shift to cancer phenotype, why they became resistant to therapy and to identify peculiar hallmarks of aggressive disease. We will also analyze paired cancer cells and serum of myeloma patients to evaluate the possible role of painless method to obtain tissue (serum) to perform microRNA analysis.
Yuliang Wang, PhD
Mentors: Sissy Jhiang & Chia-Hsiang Menq, College of Medicine & College of Engineering, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology & Mechanical Engineering
Project: Mechanical Determinants Permissive for Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition
Project Summary: Identify the mechanical readouts of cancer cell plasticity that are necessary for cancer invasion and progression may allow us to develop a novel diagnostic tool to evaluate disease’s stages at a single cell level and provide an avenue to stratify personalized medicine.
Yuh-Ying Yeh, PhD
Mentor: John Byrd, MD, College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Project: Autophagy as a Mechanism of Drug Resistance in CLL
Project Summary: This proposal seeks to understand the fundamental role of autophagy as a mechanism of resistance to treatment in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This study will bring forward mechanistic interrogation that forms the basis of pharmacological targeting for developing novel approaches or drug combinations to optimize treatment strategies.