American Association for Cancer Research

2011 AACR-Thomas J. Bardos Science Education Awardees

2011-2012 Awardees:

 Jeff Chen


Jeff Chen, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Abstract #2462: Effects of KRASG12D and P53 oncogenes on pancreatic cellular plasticity, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

“I hope to devote my life to a career as not only an oncologist but also a basic science researcher, discovering and elucidating new molecular mechanisms and cellular functions which may provide a better basis for targeting cancer cells.”

 Benjamin Dulken


Benjamin Dulken, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Abstract #5293: Mixed micelles of triblock copolymers enhance delivery of indocyanine green for fluorescent tumor imaging, Poster Session Wednesday, April 6, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

“In my future academic endeavors, I plan on pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. with a focus on molecular and biomaterials engineering. As an M.D./Ph.D. I hope to utilize clinical understanding to take relevant therapies all the way from the lab bench to the patients who need them.”

 Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez


Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, San Juan, PR

Abstract #337: HPV16 infection plays a significant role in laryngeal carcinogenesis among Puerto Ricans, Poster Session Sunday, April 3, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Abstract #3200: HPV status influences the survival of HNSCC patients: A consideration for the TNM staging system, Poster Session Tuesday, April 4, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

“I seek to attain an M.D./Ph.D. This integrated degree will train me on both the sensibility of a clinical practitioner and the problem-solving strategies of a biomedical research scientist.”

Allison Gomez

Allison Gomez, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA

“My educational goal is to earn an M.D./Ph.D. Trained as a physician scientist, I will be able to reach my full potential and contribute to the continuing progress in the field of medicine and cancer research.”

Kelsey Gray


Kelsey Gray, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

"I plan to earn a Ph.D. in human and statistical genetics. I am interested in conducting translational research on childhood leukemia at a research hospital."

Akash Gupta


Akash Gupta, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

Abstract #4619: Chemopreventive activities of the dark-color fruit ‘jamun,’ the Indian blackberry, Poster Session Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

“Research has fueled my desire to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. degree, which will allow me to practice medicine and aid cancer patients while expanding my research in novel treatments.”

 Nisan Hubbard

Nisan Hubbard, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

“My future plans include progressing towards an M.D./Ph.D. program after graduating from my undergraduate career. I plan to continue research in oncology and have interests in the field of immunology.”

 Thomas Kaffenberger


Thomas Kaffenberger, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Abstract #909: Activation of NF-κB and its downstream targets play a key role in the dramatic induction of hepatocarcinogenesis in metallothionein null mice, Poster Presentation Sunday, April 3, 3:20 p.m. to 3:35 p.m.

"After my undergraduate degree I plan on applying for a Fulbright scholarship to do research abroad in Germany for a year. After the year abroad, I plan on pursuing an M.D. degree and working in academia. Eventually I would like to combine my interests in cancer research and surgery by becoming a surgical oncologist."

 Steve Lu

Steve Lu, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Abstract #2732: Short inverted repeats are hot spots for genetic instability in mammalian cells, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

“In the future, I plan to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. degree. It is my goal to be a physician-scientist who carries out long-term research to improve the prognoses of cancer patients. A combination of scientific and medical training will be crucial for me to develop innovative therapeutics that can be applied in the area of oncology.”

 Abbee Mohan

Ashwathi Mohan, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

“My career goals include pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. degree and practicing medicine in the same field as my research focus so I can identify the gaps in medicine and design research projects that more efficiently address those gaps.”

Melony Ochieng

Melony Ochieng, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC

“To achieve my goal of becoming a medicinal chemist with a focus in cancer, I have developed a strong background in mathematics and chemistry in addition to my coursework in pharmaceutical sciences.”

 Emily Ortega


Emily Ortega, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Abstract #1110: Differential expression of cholecystokinin receptors and their ligands in normal and neoplastic pancreas, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

“My future plans are attending medical school, and then becoming a physician. As a physician, I will also be an avid researcher, hopefully carrying knowledge from the laboratory into clinical trials with my patients.”

 Daniel Sharp


Daniel Sharp, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Abstract #897: Thymidine kinase 1, a novel biomarker specific to the plasma membrane of cancerous cell lines, Poster Session Sunday, April 3, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

"After obtaining my B.S. in physiology and developmental biology, I plan to go on to an M.D./Ph.D. program, where I will focus on oncology and molecular biology, so that I can be a leader in the field of cancer research."

Daniel Sotelo


Daniel Sotelo, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

“Upon graduating with a degree in nutritional science, I intend to use what I have learned and apply it towards the advancement of new and innovative treatments for all individuals afflicted with cancer as a physician-scientist in the future.”

 Ken Tanaka

Ken Tanaka, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

“I have professional scientific desires to bring my stem cell/cancer research outcomes to the hands of patients who are suffering from the disease. From the long-term perspective, I aspire to contribute to the burgeoning field of stem cell and regenerative medicine by combining both in vivo and in silico computational studies to uncover the fundamentals mechanisms of cancer stem cells, which would lead to obtaining my Doctor of Medical Science degree in stem cell and regenerative medicine.”

 Christopher Walker


Christopher Walker, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Abstract #3868: Investigating biological mechanisms of breast cancer disparities: Basal-like specific gene expression, Poster Session Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

“After obtaining my Ph.D., I plan to continue studying the epigenetics of breast cancer among various racial groups, focusing especially on triple-negative breast cancer.”

 Lian Zhu

Lian Zhu, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract #3842: RhoC is an essential determinant of breast cancer stem cell abundance and metastatic potential, Poster Session Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

“What I am interested in doing in my future is merging my interest in chemical engineering with my interest in the protein pathways that regulate invasive forms of cancer. I plan on attending graduate school in a cancer research field within chemical engineering, and eventually teaching and starting my own multidisciplinary research lab at a university.”

2010-2011 Awardees:

 Krister Barkovich

Krister J. Barkovich, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Abstract #2314: Erlotinib response in lung- and glioma-derived EGFR alleles: Correlating kinase site occupancy with efficacy, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 Raul Caso

Raul Caso, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Abstract #449: Tumor microenvironment induces profound immune suppression: Macrophages from peripheral and tumor locations differ in their degrees of inflammatory impairment, Poster Session Sunday, April 3, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen, The College of New Jersey, Trenton, NJ

 Dustin Gable

Dustin L. Gable, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Abstract #3999: Ets1 as a target of microRNA-1 in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, Poster Session Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 Daniel Huynh

Daniel T. Huynh, University of the Pacific Long School of Pharmacy, Stockton, CA

Abstract #3401: The natural products, parthenolide and andrographolide, exhibit anti-cancer stem cell activity in multiple myeloma, Poster Session Tuesday, April 5, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 Orli Kadoch

Orli Kadoch, University of California, Davis, CA

 Elizabeth Kennedy

Elizabeth J. Kennedy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract #1397: The effects of mevalonate pathway inhibitors on the motility and invasion of aggressive breast cancers, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 Alan Kiang

Alan Kiang, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Abstract #4368: Targeting of head and neck cancer stem cells using salinomycin, Poster Session Tuesday, April 5, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 Natalie Vandeven

Natalie A. Vandeven, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract #1586: Oral administration of HIV-protease inhibitors reduces ovarian tumor growth in vivo, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 Sarah Xu

Chao ying Sarah Xu, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Abstract #1973: Caveolin-1 promotes cell proliferation, EGFR activation and tumor growth in kidney cancer, Poster Session Monday, April 4, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.