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​2017 Women in Cancer Research Scholar Awards

Kristin G. Anderson, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

Kristin is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutch and the Immunology Department at the University of Washington. She aspires to a translational research career developing cutting-edge cancer therapies. Her research focuses on innovative approaches for treating solid tumors with adoptive T cell therapy.

Abstract 4980: Engineering adoptive T cell therapy for efficacy in ovarian cancer.
Mini Symposium: Adoptive Cellular Therapy for Cancer
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 3:50 - 4:05 p.m., Ballroom A-B, Level 3, Washington Convention Center

Leila Dardaei, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Charlestown, Massachusetts

“My major research interests center on ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer with focus on understanding resistance mechanisms to targeted therapies and developing new therapeutics to overcome resistance. My long-term career goal is to become an independent laboratory investigator and leader in the field of molecular targeted cancer therapy. I plan to develop a research program dedicated to basic and translational studies that will impact the therapeutic management of patients with cancer.”

Abstract 1077: SHP2 inhibition restores sensitivity to ALK inhibition in resistant ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Molecular Targeted Therapies 1 - #4
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Liangliang Hao, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
MIT Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research
Cambridge, Massachusetts

“My ultimate goal is to become an independent researcher, where I will strive to understand the fundamental rules of biological processes and then utilize this knowledge for disease treatment. To fulfill this aim, I am working in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research field where we translate discoveries in nanoscience into technologies for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer.”

Abstract 5088: Tumor penetrating RNA delivery for therapeutic benefit of pancreatic cancer.
Gene- and Vector-based Therapy - #4
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Shuning He, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachussets

“I have developed a series of genetically engineered zebrafish tumor models, including leukemia, neuroblastoma and melanoma, to dissect molecular pathways contributing to the diverse phenotypic aspects of these malignancies. My goal is to identify active drugs and drug combinations in vivo using the faithful zebrafish models for eventual therapeutic intervention.”

Abstract 801: A zebrafish model of NF1-mutant melanomas that lack activating mutations of BRAF or NRAS.
Cell Culture and Animal Models of Cancer 1 - #7
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m. 

Xiaoshuang Li, MS
Graduate Student
Florida International University
Miami, Florida

“My research is focused on melanoma metastasis. I want to understand how cancer cells metastasize from the primary sites to the secondary organs through circulation system and find the possible biomarkers that can recognize the cells while they are hidden inside the blood vessels for clinical diagnostics.”

Abstract 1978: Identification of the Metastatic Cell Populations in a Mouse Model of Melanoma.
Regulation and Imaging of Tumor Metastasis - #21
Monday, April 3, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Golnaz Morad, DDS
Graduate Student
Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

“In my dissertation research, I study the mechanisms with which breast cancer-derived exosomes facilitate metastasis to brain and bone. I am highly motivated to pursue an academic career in translational research in cancer biology and to contribute to our understanding of early events that lead to metastasis formation.”

Abstract 5808: The role of breast cancer-derived exosomes in brain metastasis.
Effects of Tumor-Microenvironment Crosstalk on Metastasis - #15
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Katherine K. Slemmons, BS
Graduate Student
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

“My thesis focuses on how the developmental pathways Hippo and Notch drive tumorigenesis in the childhood tumor embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, since understanding the signaling of these pathways is crucial to designing rational targeted therapies. I hope to continue in the field of pediatric oncology and pursue a career in translational research.”

Abstract 5830: A novel Notch-YAP circuit drives stemness and tumorigenesis in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
Pediatric Cancer 4: Immunology, Signaling, and the Tumor Microenvironment - #16
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8 a.m. - noon

Marie-Laurence Tremblay, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
IWK Health Center
Halifax, Nova Scotia

“I work in a pre-clinical imaging laboratory investigating and quantitating the migratory patterns of iron-labeled immune cells in vivo in response to immunotherapy in cancer using PET/MRI. I am working towards the development of new imaging tools that can facilitate the monitoring of novel cancer immunotherapies at early stages of development to ensure more successful outcomes at later stages.”

Abstract 873: Evaluating immunotherapy effects using pre-clinical molecular imaging tools for quantitative immune cell tracking.
Imaging Cancer Immunotherapy, Tumor Microenvironment, and Other Aspects of Tumor Biology - #4
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.

Angelina Vaseva, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

“My career goal is to become an independent investigator leading research focused on fundamental aspects of cancer biology with the aim to design novel cancer therapies. My current work is focused on understanding mutant KRAS signaling in the development and maintenance of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.”

Abstract 4458: Regulation of MYC protein stability by mutant KRAS in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors 2 - #10
Tuesday, April 1, 2017 1 - 5 p.m.

Smruthi Vijayaraghavan, BS
Graduate Student
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

“My research focuses on improving the efficacy and selectivity of CDK4/6 inhibition in breast cancer and other solid tumors, through biomarker studies and combination therapy strategies. My goal is to pursue a career in translational cancer research in the industry and positively impact patient lives.”

Abstract 2338: CDK4/6 and Autophagy inhibitors synergize to induce senescence in cancers with an intact G1/S checkpoint.
CDKs and CDK Inhibitors - #2
Monday, April 3, 2017, 1 - 5 p.m.