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2017 AACR Thomas J. Bardos Science Education Awards for Undergraduate Students

2016-2017 Bardos Awards: 

Noelle Castilla Ojo
Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts

“My long-term goals are to get my MD/PhD degrees and specialize in medical oncology. My current research is in nanomedicine and I would love to incorporate this into my future career. I have a particular interest in aiding underprivileged communities and the elderly.”

Trillium Chang
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“I aspire to become a clinician-scientist and ultimately work in the public health field of cancer treatment and diagnosis. I am especially interested in exploring the intersection of scientific inquiry, social entrepreneurship and global health for cancer treatment.”

Phillip Chuong
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky

“I plan to pursue an MD/PhD degree in oncology with an emphasis in experimental therapeutics. I intend to incorporate my academic knowledge with practical clinical skills to develop enhanced theranostic nanocontrasting agents which will lead to improved detection/treatment of cancer.”  

Abstract 1858. Theranostic nanoparticles for detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Imaging for Cancer Diagnosis and Image-Guided Therapy - #3
Monday, April 3, 2017, 8 a.m.- noon

Bailey G. Flanigan
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin

“Following my undergraduate career, I will obtain a doctorate degree in bioengineering, specifically in the field of computational biology. With this degree I will combine wet lab research and computer modeling to better understand the signaling pathways of HER family receptors with the aim of identifying novel molecular targets for cancer therapeutics.”

Abstract 3333. The receptor tyrosine kinase AXL mediates nuclear translocation of the epidermal growth factor receptor.
Cell Growth Signaling Pathways 6 - #8
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8 - noon

Sydney B. Fobare
Hendrix College
Conway, Arkansas

“An MD/PhD is valuable to my career goals because I would not only be able to help improve a patient’s illness through treating them in a clinic, but I will also be able to direct research in order to have the greatest impact in new treatments and the patients’ lives.”

Subreen Khatib
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

“My goal, above all else, is to reduce the human suffering caused by cancer. I feel that cancer biology and immunology is a critical resource to developing new therapies; as an MD, PhD, I hope to take molecular laboratory data to patients and provide personalized therapies.”

Abstract 1849. The role of leptin signaling in the promotion of obesity-associated tumorigenesis and cancer stem cell characteristics in a transgenic mouse model of basal-like breast cancer.
Cell Culture and Animal Models of Cancer 2 - #23
Monday, April 3, 2017, 8 - noon

Avinaash Korrapati
University of California San Diego
San Diego, California

“I have no doubt that the experience I gain from being a participant in this conference will be a vital step in my goal of pursuing an MD, PhD.”

Abstract 3488. RNA-sequencing reveals etiology-specific dysregulation of PIWI-interacting RNAs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Noncoding RNAs and Cancer: Expression, Function, and Therapeutics - #11
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Malcolm Moses
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Greensboro, North Carolina

“Science is my passion; human health is my responsibility.”

Abstract 5879. Establishing doxorubicin resistant HCC1806 triple negative breast cancer cell lines result in the differential expression of let7a and miR34a.
MicroRNA Profiling in Cancer - #4
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.

Deborah Y. Park
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

“My professional aspiration is to become a physician-scientist running an active laboratory in the growing field of cancer biology. The prospect of uncovering the mechanisms within cancer metastasis to develop novel methods for early cancer detection and future therapeutic strategies has captivated my attention.”

Connor J. Peck
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah

“After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I hope to pursue an MD at a top institution in the country. My passion for laboratory research is rivaled by my passion for patient interaction, and I hope to combine both as an oncologist with a research emphasis.”

Abstract 252. Resveratrol and pterostibene selectively chemosensitize Burkitt’s lymphoma cells to 5-Fluorouracil.
Diet and Cancer - #22
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.

Angela E. Zou
University of California San Diego
San Diego, California

“Together, my lab and classes have solidified my resolve to pursue an MD/PhD in genetics and bioinformatics. I plan to conduct research and practice medicine as a faculty member of an academic health center, investigating how genome-level datasets can be integrated to build clinically relevant molecular landscapes and network models of cancer, and then directly translating these findings into novel diagnostic tools and treatment plans for my patients.”

Abstract 3488. RNA-sequencing reveals etiology-specific dysregulation of PIWI-interacting RNAs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Noncoding RNAs and Cancer: Expression, Function, and Therapeutics - #11
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

2017-2018 Bardos Awards: 

Sean Brennan
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin


“After I graduate with my bachelors, I plan to pursue a PhD in genetics; specifically studying the effects of cancer in gene regulation. I plan to help discover new innovative ways that we can eliminate genetic predispositions to various cancers.”

Abstract 4124. Androgen receptor as a potential target in non-small cell lung cancer.
New Targets and New Drugs - #4
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.

Xuewen (Kirsten) Chen
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

"My goal is to untangle the mysteries of cancer progression, and search for potential target for cancer diagnosis and treatment. As a physician-scientist, I will be able to view cancer through the lens of molecular level as well as clinical perspective, to develop personalized medicine for cancer patients across gender, race, and ethnicity."

Abstract 446. Differential effects of folate depletion on metabolic reprogramming and oxidative stress in nonmetastatic and metastatic claudin-low breast cancer cells.
Metabolic Pathways in Cancer – 17
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.

Leah V. Dodds
University of Miami
Miami, Florida

"Through numerous energetic encounters within the health arena, I originated a passion for the intersection of medicine and scientific discovery, and I have actively pursued academic and practical development in both areas. I intend to practice medicine, but my research has inspired me to seek understanding of the scientific implications of disease ontology, and in that way, impact a greater number of people. Therefore, I hope to utilize this invaluable opportunity afforded to me by the AACR to continue to prepare myself for a career as a physician scientist within medical delivery.”

Abstract 1454. Estrogen receptor signaling in FTE of BRCA mutation carriers.
Genomics in Inherited Susceptibility and Preneoplastic Conditions - #23
Monday, April 3, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Chris Giuliano
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York


"My past research experiences in structural and cellular biology have exposed me to different ways of approaching biological questions; from this, I plan to continue my work into graduate school where I hope to earn a PhD in cancer research with a focus on translating large patient data sets into real conclusions about the relationship between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment."

Abstract 4190. CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis invalidates a genetic target of clinical trials in cancer.
Targeting Protein Kinases and DNA Repair - #13
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.

Aswini R. Krishnan
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California

"My experiences have convinced me that exploring basic science is a compelling career option that I could one day see myself devoting my life to. As my experience in cancer research has been purely limited to the lab that I work in, I yearn to learn more about carcinogenesis in a broader sense and from various other angles to see what other topics interest me.  I want to be able to put my work in perspective of the bigger picture of cancer research today.  I have only been able to accomplish my work by building on the foundation set by those who came before me, and likewise, I hope that my work could be a starting block for others to build on, with the collaborative aim to find a cure for cancer."

Abstract 3488. RNA-sequencing reveals etiology-specific dysregulation of PIWI-interacting RNAs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Noncoding RNAs and Cancer: Expression, Function, and Therapeutics - #11
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Monika Perez
University of Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma

“Following graduation from the University of Tulsa, I plan to pursue an MD/PhD program to become a physician-scientist. At the AACR Annual Meetings, I hope to gain an early exposure to cutting-edge cancer research to further explore how I may integrate my engineering and technical knowledge into an interdisciplinary framework to treat disease systems.”

Abstract 5370. Examination of DNA looping near oncogenes reveals variable patterns of epigenetic landscapes in cancer.
Epigenetics 5 - #2
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Mabel G. Pérez-Oquendo
University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico

"My career goals are to successfully obtain a degree in cellular molecular biology, and continue with the PhD in the field of cancer biology. I consider that combining knowledge with a molecular biology approach, we can elucidate new strategies against cancer throughout the study of the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation."

Zachary Z. Reinstein
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah

“My goal, as a physician-scientist (MD, PhD) is to directly put humanity into my work. By combining my practice with basic/clinical research, a mutually beneficial relationship emerges and both aspects are edified. I hope to use the latest advances in genetics and molecular biology to better treat and prevent cancer.”

Abstract 1230. Talazoparib, a second generation PARP inhibitor, is a novel therapy for PTEN mutants in prostate cancer.
Targeting Growth Factor and Intracellular Signaling - #15
Monday, April 3, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Sounak Roy
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

“I plan to pursue an MD with a research focus followed by a career as a physician-scientist. I will emphasize the efficacy of translational research in oncology to achieve a greater level of personalized care for my patients.”

Abstract 903. CXCR4 and CXCR7 play distinct and overlapping roles in prostate cancer dissemination to bone.
Migration and Invasion 1 - #14
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 - 5:00 p.m.

Pavan P. Shah
Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC
Los Angeles, California

"After completing my bachelor's in biomedical engineering, I will be pursuing an MD program. I hope to combine clinical experience with my engineering background to develop and advance technologies that enable cost-effective personalized medicine."

Abstract 3731. A novel multidimensional cfDNA assay for real time analysis of chemotherapy response.
Clinical Laboratory and Imaging Correlates - #16
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon