American Association for Cancer Research

Innovative Research Grants Investigator Biographies

An Emerging Tumor Suppressor Pathway in Human Cancer

Dr. Fernando CamargoFernando D. Camargo, Ph.D., is a principal member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, an assistant professor at the Children's Hospital Boston and the Stem Cell Regenerative Biology Department at Harvard University.

Originally from Peru, Camargo received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 2000, and his doctorate in cell and molecular biology from Baylor College of Medicine in 2004.

Camargo's research focuses on adult stem cell biology, organ size regulation and cancer. His current research explores the role that the "Hippo" biochemical pathway plays in both organ growth and tumor suppression, with the goal of identifying agents that can regulate Hippo signaling and be used to develop new therapies for cancer.


Modeling Ewing Tumor Initiation in Human Neural Crest Stem Cells

Dr. Elizabeth LawlorElizabeth R. Lawlor, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan.

Lawlor attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and received her undergraduate degree in 1986 and her medical doctorate in 1989. She completed her clinical fellowship in pediatric oncology at the BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver in 1996 and obtained a doctorate degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2002. The following year, Lawlor completed her postdoctoral research training at the University of California, San Francisco.

Lawlor's research is focused on understanding the origin and genetics of a type of bone tumor called Ewing sarcoma. She plans to generate novel insights into the biology of Ewing sarcoma tumors, which will aid in the development of more effective, less toxic therapies to specifically target this disease.


Cancer Cell Specific, Self-Delivering Pro-Drugs

Dr. Matthew Levy Matthew Levy, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Levy received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry in 1995 and his master's degree in chemistry in 1997, both from the University of California, San Diego. Levy was awarded his doctorate in molecular biology in 2003 from the University of Texas, where he also completed his postdoctoral training in 2007.

Levy's research interests lay in using biological, chemical and combinatorial approaches to understand fundamental biological interactions, as well as to design novel diagnostics and therapeutics. The goal of his work is to develop a novel class of self-guided cancer drugs in an effort to direct treatment to cancer sites within the body.


Targeted Inhibition of BCL6 for Leukemia Stem Cell Eradication

Dr. Markus MuschenMarkus Müschen, M.D., is the director of the Leukemia Research Program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Program in the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an associate professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine.

Müschen received his medical degree from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1999. A summa cum laude graduate, he completed his doctoral thesis in biochemistry and molecular biology in 1999 and his internship and residency in hematology and oncology at the University of Cologne, Germany, in 2000.

Müschen's research focuses on leukemia genetics. He is currently examining the role of the BCL6 gene in the initiation and relapse of leukemia and a BCL6 peptide inhibitor as a novel therapeutic agent for targeted removal of leukemia stem cells.


Identifying Solid Tumor Kinase Fusions via Exon Capture and 454 Sequencing

Dr. William PaoWilliam Pao, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor of medicine; Ingram associate professor of cancer research and director of personalized cancer medicine at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

In 1990, Pao graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in East Asian studies. He received his doctorate in 1997 and medical degree in 1998 from Yale University. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at The New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Campus, performed a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and completed his postdoctoral training at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in 2005.

Pao's research focuses on the identification of genes involved in the pathogenesis of lung tumors, especially genes involved in mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. His current studies will identify novel tyrosine kinase fusions in cancers and could provide new targets for future drug development.


Therapeutically Targeting the Epigenome in Aggressive Pediatric Cancers

Dr. Charles RobertsCharles M. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an assistant professor of pediatric oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Roberts attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned his bachelor's degree in zoology in 1988. He went on to receive his doctorate in immunology and medical doctorate from Washington University in 1995. Roberts completed his residency at Children's Hospital Boston and his fellowship in 2003 at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Roberts' research interests lay in understanding the epigenetic changes that occur in cancer, and malignant rhabdoid tumors in particular, and identifying drugs that could reverse these changes. His work has potential to improve treatment of this highly lethal cancer, which occurs in the kidney, brain and soft tissues of young children.


Endogenous Small Molecules that Regulate Signaling Pathways in Cancer Cells

Dr. Rajat RohatgiRajat Rohatgi, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Oncology and, by courtesy, in the Department of Biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Rohatgi graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1994. He earned his medical doctorate and doctorate in cell and developmental biology from Harvard Medical School in 2002. He completed his residency and fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center in 2008.

Rohatgi's research focuses on developing methods that will facilitate the comprehensive analysis of small molecules in the cell that regulate oncogenic signaling pathways. He believes that the discovery of such molecules will reveal novel strategies for the manipulation of these pathways for cancer therapies.


Genetic Approaches for Next Generation of Breast Cancer Tailored Therapies

Dr. Jose SilvaJosé M. Silva, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of pathology at the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University Medical Center, New York.

Silva received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Complutense University of Madrid in 1995, and his doctorate from the Autonoma University of Madrid in 2000. In 2001, he began his postdoctoral studies in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, where he was promoted to senior fellow in 2007. In July 2008, he joined Columbia University as an assistant professor.

Silva's research centers on breast cancer biology. His work focuses on identifying genes that are essential for the viability of breast cancer cells that carry cancer-specific genetic alterations (synthetic lethality). Blocking the function of these genes will reduce the viability of tumor cells without affecting normal cells, which could lead to more efficient and less harmful breast cancer therapies.


Modulating Transcription Factor Abnormalities in Pediatric Cancer

Dr. Kimberly StegmaierKimberly Stegmaier, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, an independent investigator in pediatric oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an attending physician in pediatric hematology-oncology at the Children's Hospital Boston and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is also an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Stegmaier received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Duke University in 1991 and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1996. She completed her residency at the Children's Hospital Boston in 1999 and a postdoctoral pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship in 2006 while at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children's Hospital Boston.

Stegmaier's research program integrates chemical biology, and genomic and proteomic approaches to discover new lead compounds and protein targets for cancer therapy. One of her current research interests is the pediatric tumor Ewing sarcoma. Stegmaier will employ these integrated approaches to tackle a cancer-promoting protein in Ewing sarcoma for which there is currently no targeted therapy.


Noninvasive Molecular Profiling of Cancer via Tumor-Derived Microparticles

Dr. Muneesh TewariMuneesh Tewari, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant member in the Divisions of Human Biology, Clinical Research and Public Health Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is also an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

Tewari received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in biochemistry from the Case Western Reserve University in 1990, and then graduated from the University of Michigan with doctoral and medical degrees in 1997. He was a resident in internal medicine at the University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, until 1999, and completed his clinical (medical oncology) and postdoctoral fellowships in 2002 and 2005, respectively, while at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Tewari has studied molecular profiling and personalized medicine. His current research focuses on developing the methods needed to capture microparticles from the blood and study them to learn more about cancer, specifically ovarian cancer.


A Transformative Technology to Capture and Drug New Cancer Targets

Dr. Loren WalenskyLoren D. Walensky, M.D., Ph.D., is an attending physician and assistant professor of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.

Walensky graduated as valedictorian of Princeton University in 1990, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and a certificate in science policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received his Doctor of Medicine and Philosophy degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1997. He trained in pediatrics at the Boston Combined Residency Program, and from 2000 through 2005, conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston.

Walensky's research focuses on the chemical biology of deregulated apoptotic and transcriptional pathways in cancer, with the goal of creating an arsenal of new compounds to investigate and block protein interactions that cause cancer.


Functional Oncogene Identification

Dr. David WeinstockDavid M. Weinstock, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and assistant professor of medicine in the medical oncology service at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Weinstock received his bachelor's degree in biology with honors from the University of Chicago in 1993, and graduated with a doctorate in medicine from George Washington University in 1997. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in 2005.

Weinstock's research focuses on the mechanisms of malignant transformation in hematologic neoplasms.


Probing EBV-LMP-1's Transmembrane Activation Domain with Synthetic Peptide

Dr. Hang YinHang (Hubert) Yin, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry and member of the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Yin graduated first in his class from Peking University in Beijing with his bachelor's degree in applied chemistry in 1999. He received his doctorate in organic and bioorganic chemistry from Yale University in 2004, and completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2007.

Yin's research focuses on new methods to prevent and treat lymphomas in children. He studies how the viral protein LMP-1, which is found in many human Epstein-Barr virus lymphomas and syndromes, promotes cell division.

Updated: Aug 24, 2010