UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Giving and Development

2018-2019 Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research Program

Building on our long and fruitful partnership with Hillman Family Foundations, we at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center are honored to embark upon a new era of collaboration through the recently redesigned Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research Program. Over the next ten years, Henry L. Hillman Foundation has pledged a significant investment in our comprehensive program, with the goal of supporting several key areas that are of strategic importance to our mission of reducing the burden of cancer. Areas supported by this program include recruitment of top-tier senior and early-career faculty, as well as funding of highly innovative developmental research projects and transdisciplinary collaborative research efforts. The program also supports a new competitive opportunity for postdoctoral candidates, which is currently accepting applications (see: www.UPMCHillman.com/PostdoctoralFellowship).

We are excited to announce the new Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research for the award period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research

A key priority of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is the recruitment of exceptional faculty across multiple research areas, including the recruitment of senior-level investigators of national and international renown who will serve in visionary leadership positions within the institution. After national searches, two highly accomplished individuals have joined the faculty to lead Hillman research programs as 2018 Hillman Fellows:

Ronald Buckanovich, MD, PhD, arrived in September 2017 as Professor of Medicine and of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences as well as Co-Leader of Hillman Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program and Co-Director of the UPMC Ovarian Cancer Center of Excellence. In addition, he was recently appointed as Co-Director of the Women’s Cancer Research Center, which is a collaboration between UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Magee-Womens Research Institute. Dr. Buckanovich is playing an integral role in establishing a Comprehensive Ovarian Biology Research Center, which brings together biology and oncology researchers to study the molecular and physiological factors that mediate the development of ovarian cancer, his area of expertise.

Shou-Jiang (SJ) Gao, PhD joined the faculty in April 2018 as The Pittsburgh Foundation Endowed Chair in Drug Development for Immunotherapy, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Leader of the Hillman Cancer Virology Program. A leading expert in tumor virology, Dr. Gao developed the first genetic system for studying Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), as well as several KSHV infection and cellular transformation models, which were used to define the mechanisms of KSHV infection and oncogenesis. This work has led to the identification of numerous targeted and immunotherapy-based strategies for treating KSHV-induced cancers.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Early-Career Cancer Research

As a way to augment current research strengths and enhance expertise in new and promising disciplines, we have recruited three exceptional junior investigators to UPMC Hillman Cancer Center who will begin their academic careers as Hillman Fellows:

Lan Coffman, MD, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and a member of the Hillman Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program, specializes in the treatment and study of ovarian cancer. She is particularly interested in understanding how carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells (CA-MSCs) develop within the tumor microenvironment (defined as the area surrounding the tumor that contains blood vessels and immune and stromal cells), and how they act to promote ovarian cancer growth. Recent findings in her laboratory demonstrated that cancer cells act to transform normal mesenchymal stem cells into CA-MSCs by inducing epigenetic modifications to DNA that lead to alterations in gene expression (i.e., the amount of protein-coding RNA that gets transcribed).

Hung Luu, MD, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and a member of the Hillman Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program. Dr. Luu’s research applies advanced molecular technologies to the investigation of genetic and environmental factors that influence cancer development, with the ultimate goal of translating new discoveries into improved methods of cancer prevention and treatment.



Yana Najjar, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, a member of the Hillman Melanoma Program, and a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of melanoma. Her research focuses on cancer immunotherapy and its impact on the tumor microenvironment and peripheral immune system.




Hillman Fellows for Innovative Developmental Cancer Research

Developmental high-risk/high-reward projects hold the greatest promise for new discoveries that could eventually reshape medical practice. To promote groundbreaking research, our Hillman Fellows program will support eight cancer pilot projects that were chosen after a Cancer Center-wide solicitation of proposals. The Cancer Center leadership selected these projects, which span the breadth of novel research being done at Hillman, based on their scientific merit, innovation, significance, and approach.

Maninjay Atianand, PhD, Assistant Professor of Immunology: Long noncoding RNAs as regulatory checkpoints in tumor-associated macrophages

In this pilot project, Dr. Atianand’s laboratory will determine the role of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) (RNA transcripts that do not get translated into proteins) in controlling immune cell functions in the tumor microenvironment. In particular, his team will characterize the expression of the lncRNAs found in tumor-associated macrophages in melanoma, and explore their role in antitumor immunity using mouse models. It is anticipated that these studies will reveal new translational targets as well as biomarkers that predict response to cancer immunotherapies.

Randall Brand, MD, Professor of Medicine and of Human Genetics and a member of the Hillman Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program: Characterization of chromatin environment on cancer risk and inflammation in Lynch Syndrome

Individuals with Lynch Syndrome harbor a mutation in at least one of the main DNA repair genes, greatly increasing their risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). However, not everyone with these mutations will develop CRC. This pilot project aims to understand changes in how DNA is packaged with RNA and histone proteins in response to environmental stressors/inflammatory stimuli in Lynch Syndrome patients, and the relationship of these changes to cancer risk. This project will facilitate the development of novel cancer prevention approaches and the identification of new surrogate markers to evaluate the efficacy of preventive agents. The long-term goal is to personalize CRC prevention by identifying biomarkers associated with cancer risk that can be easily monitored and applied to not only individuals with Lynch Syndrome, but to the general population as well.

Xin Huang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and a member of the Hillman Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program: miR-210 function in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

The hypoxia responsive pathway, normally induced by low oxygen, is nearly always upregulated (i.e., increased) in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), making its components attractive therapeutic targets. Dr. Huang’s laboratory found that hypoxia induces robust expression of a particular molecule, microRNA (miR)-210, in a variety of cancerous cell lines through the RNA transcription regulating factors hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) 1-alpha and 2-alpha. Notably, miR-210 is one of the most highly expressed miRNAs in ccRCC as compared with normal tissue, and its overexpression correlates with poor overall patient survival. Based on this evidence and the fact that microRNA can alter cell activity through silencing of gene expression, the Huang laboratory seeks to delineate the role of miR-210 in ccRCC tumorigenesis as well as test its potential as a therapeutic target in this pilot project.

Bruce Jacobs, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Urology: Effects of cancer care centralization on geographic, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities

In recent decades, health care delivery for patients with cancer has undergone a dramatic shift whereby care is increasingly centralized in ‘centers of excellence’ with high patient volume. This shift has an immense potential to improve patient outcomes, since many studies suggest that high-volume centers demonstrate improved survival. Although centralization appears to improve outcomes for patients receiving care at these high-volume centers, the overall effects of centralization remain unknown. The goal of Dr. Jacob’s pilot project is to determine the impact of centralization on the cancer care received by subgroups of patients who differ with respect to geographic location, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

Xinghau Lu, MD, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Informatics and a member of the Hillman Molecular and Cellular Cancer Biology Program: Developing an artificial intelligence-based clinical decision support system for precision oncology

The pilot project from the Lu laboratory aims to develop artificial intelligence methods to assist clinical decision making. The investigators will collect clinical data from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center to discover how patterns of treatment influence clinical outcomes in patients with specific characteristics. The overarching goal is to use such information to develop decision support systems enabling oncologists to personalize therapies for each individual NSCLC patient.

Roderick O’Sullivan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and a member of the Hillman Molecular and Cellular Cancer Biology Program: Effects of telomerase inhibition in neuroblastoma

Telomerase is the specialized enzyme responsible for de novo synthesis of new telomeric DNA at chromosome ends. Increased expression (amount) and activity of telomerase is a defining hallmark of cancer cells, whereas normal cells rarely express it, fueling the hypothesis that telomerase inhibition is an Achilles’ heel for cancer. The goal of this pilot project is to adapt and apply a highly innovative CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing strategy to rapidly, yet reversibly, remove telomerase from cancer cells and decipher the effects of telomerase inhibition in a clinically relevant model of neuroblastoma (a type of brain cancer diagnosed in both adults and children).

Shilpa Sant, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and member of the Hillman Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program: Role of pathological microcalcifications in the primary tumor progression

Breast cancer is frequently detected by the presence of calcium deposits (microcalcifications) seen on mammograms. Studies suggest that the microcalcifications are a risk factor for breast cancer progression, but whether they cause or are just a result of the disease remains unknown. However, there does appear to be a link between microcalcifications, specifically those with the calcium-containing mineral hydroxyapatite, and cancer cells acquiring a mesenchymal phenotype (cells that gain the migratory and invasive properties needed for metastasis). Moreover, evidence suggests a link between microcalcifications and breast cancer cells overexpressing bone markers and metastasizing to the bone. In this pilot project, the Sant laboratory will develop in vitro and in vivo approaches to elucidate the functional role that microcalcifications may play in tumor invasion, bone mimicry and subsequent risk of bone metastasis.

Shivendra Singh, PhD, UPMC Chair in Cancer Prevention Research, Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and of Urology, Hillman Associate Director for Basic Research, and member of the Hillman Breast and Ovarian Cancer and Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Programs: A novel strategy for prevention of breast cancer-induced osteolytic bone resorption

Osteolytic bone erosion leading to pain is a serious complication in women with metastatic breast cancer. The goal of this project is to determine the activity of a novel plant-based regimen in preventing bone erosion.

Hillman Fellows for Innovative Team Science Cancer Research

The ability to move the cancer field forward often requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Medical oncologist, cancer epigenetics researcher, and Leader of the Hillman Lung Cancer Program, James Herman, MD, has teamed up with cancer epidemiologist and Co-Leader of the Hillman Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program, Jian-Min Yuan, MD, PhD, and pulmonologist David Wilson, MD, MPH, on the Pittsburgh Lung Cancer Screening Study (PLuSS), a community-based research cohort of current and ex-smokers, screened with low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) and followed for development of lung cancer since 2002. PLuSS has provided the basis for continual improvements in CT screening for individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer, a method that has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality. In addition to the CT scan results, biological fluids including blood, sputum, and urine are collected from study participants, and provide an invaluable resource for Hillman investigators to conduct a wide range of research studies, such as genome-wide analysis of molecular changes in lung cancer, and the development of novel cancer biomarkers for further-improved detection (i.e., fewer false positives and false negatives with screening), diagnosis, and therapeutic monitoring. This project was selected for support through the Hillman Fellows Program by Cancer Center leadership due to its potential for high impact and reach across our vast community network.

All Hillman Fellows and Projects

2017

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

2016

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

2015

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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

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

2010

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.

2009

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

2008

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)

2007

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

2006

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

2004-2005

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