University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Career Enhancement Program (CEP)

Co-Leaders: Kirsten Moysich, PhD; Shashikant Lele, MD, FACOG; Francesmary Modugno, PhD, MPH

Year 1 CEP Projects:

  • Development of a novel immunotherapeutic strategy for ovarian cancer patients using tumor-recognizing CD4+ T cells. (Junko Matsuzaki, PhD)
  • Overcoming ovarian cancer-associated immunosuppression by regulating Th17/Treg plasticity. (Natasa Obermajer, PhD)

Year 2 CEP Projects:

  • Genetic characterization of cancer testis antigen-rich tumors and their microenvironment. (Kevin Eng, PhD)
  • Targeting multiple immune inhibitor receptors on tumor infiltrating T cells and their ligands on epithelial ovarian tumors. (Ruea-Yea Huang, PhD)

Year 3 CEP Projects:

  • Determinants for hematopoietic stem cell differentiation towards effective T cell immunotherapy for ovarian cancer. (Thinle Chodon, MD PhD)
  • Targeting tumor secretome for preventing ovarian cancer metastasis. (Xin Huang, PhD)
  • Regulation of ovarian cancer metastasis and drug response by miR-506. (Da Yang, PhD)

Year 4 CEP Projects:

  • A genomic approach to develop neoantigen-specific adoptive T cell therapy for ovarian cancer. (Sebastian Battaglia, PhD)
  • Identification of lipid metabolite biomarkers for ovarian cancer diagnosis. (Matthew Buas, PhD)
  • Effect of common comorbidities and epidemiological factors on invasive epithelial ovarian cancer prognosis in western New York women. (Rikki Cannioto, PhD)
  • MUC1/CIN85 as a new target to control tumor and prevent metastasis. (Sandra Casio, PhD)

Developmental Research Program (DRP)

Co-Leaders: Kirsten Moysich, PhD; Robert P. Edwards, MD; Francesmary Modugno, PhD, MPH

Year 1 DRP Projects:

  • Infection in the etiology of ovarian cancer. (Jo Freudenheim, PhD)
  • Invasive ovarian cancer models for treatment with oncolytic virotherapy. (Danuta Kozbor, PhD)
  • Evaluation of novel immune biomarkers for ovarian cancer. (Brahm Segal, MD)
  • Inflammation and intratumoral immune checkpoint activity in ovarian cancer. (Anda Vlad, MD, PhD)

Year 2 DRP Projects:

  • TAK1 signaling in ovarian cancer progression and recurrence. (Andrei Bakin, PhD)
  • Prediction of individual susceptibility for toxic side effects in chemotherapy of ovarian cancer. (Peter Demant, MD, PhD)
  • PD-1 and TGF-b blockade in TCR-engineered T cell immunotherapy for ovarian cancer. (Richard Koya, MD, PhD)
  • Intratumoral regulatory T cells expressing Tim-3 and PD-1 as a target of immunotherapy for EOC. (Binfeng Lu, PhD)

Year 3 DRP Projects:

  • Invasive ovarian cancer models for treatment with oncolytic virotherapy. (Danuta Kozbor, PhD)
  • Transcriptomic profiling and functional characterization of fusion genes in recurrent ovarian cancer. (Adrian Lee, PhD)
  • De-stressing the tumor to improve immunotherapy for ovarian cancer. (Elizabeth Repasky, PhD)
  • Targeting rRNA transcription to selectively inhibit the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells with MYC overexpression and mutant p53. (Nicoletta Sacchi, PhD)

Year 4 DRP Porjects:

  • Estrogen receptor-beta and p53 signaling crosstalk in high-grade serous ovarian cancer. (Gokul Das, PhD)
  • Targeted protein destruction as a novel therapeutic approach to ovarian cancer. (Alexander Deiters, PhD)
  • Investigation of miR181a as a driver of transformation and early detection biomarker in epithelial ovarian cancer. (Analisa DiFeo, PhD)