American Association for Cancer Research

2012 Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Awards L-Z

Taoreed Lawal

Taoreed O. Lawal, B.S., Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

“After medical school, I plan to complete residency and fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology. I aspire to specialize in interventional oncology, using the most cutting edge imaging technology and modalities to provide cancer treatment. My goal is to be actively engaged in research, leading multiple efforts to develop better, safer, and more effective cancer therapies that are minimally-invasive.”

Abstract 2890: Image-guided transcatheter Intra-arterial drug delivery of doxorubicin encapsulated iron oxide nanoparticles to liver tumors: safety and feasibility
PO.CH06.02 Nanoscale Drug Delivery Systems 2,
April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Stephania Libreros

Stephania Libreros, B.S., Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

“After completing my Ph.D. studies, I plan to complete Postdoctoral studies with the goal of becoming a principal investigator in a well establish academic research institution. I intend to mentor the next generation of students, especially minority and female students like myself. My ultimate research and educational goals are to contribute to the fight against breast cancer by developing translational research that can be developed into newer, safer, and more effective therapies for breast cancer. I have always had the drive to be become a scientist and to serve as a role model for successive minority and female scientists to follow.”

Abstract 1393: Chitinase-3-like-1 protein overexpression in lung epithelial cells enhances breast cancer metastasis to the lung.
PO.TB04.02 Metastasis Models: From Cell Autonomous Genes to the Niche, April 2, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Florencia McAllister

Florencia McAllister, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

“I am currently in the third year of a combined fellowship in Medical Oncology and Clinical Pharmacology. I am interested in gaining further understanding on the role of the immune system in carcinogenesis and develop novel immunotherapies for cancer prevention and treatment.”

Abstract 2968: TH17 cells in early pancreatic tumorigenesis
MS.TB06.01 Critical Regulators of Tumor Microenvironment,
April 2, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Lauren McCullough

Lauren E. McCullough, M.S.P.H., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

“I plan to complete my doctoral degree in 2012 and successfully fund my continued my training as a cancer epidemiologist through a competitive postdoctoral award. During this time I hope to continue my work on the complementary roles of genetics and environment in cancer etiology and expand my research agenda into other cancers, specifically colorectal and prostate, and increase focus on disparities and survival.”

Abstract 2601: Polymorphisms in Oxidative Stress Genes, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Risk
PO.EP02.05 Genes, Gene-Environment Interactions, and Hormone-Related Cancers,
April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tanisha McGlothen

Tanisha Z. McGlothen, B.A., Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

“While the direct link between obesity and cancer is not known, my research is focused on identifying novel targets for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a form of the disease that disproportionately affects women of color and for whom treatment options are currently very limited. Upon graduation, my goal is to participate in Postdoctoral training that will allow me to continue cancer research but from a public health perspective. Specifically, I would like to study cancer as an infectious disease- defining its demographics, etiology, and patterns of morbidity.”

Abstract 785: Leptin-Notch-Wnt axis affects drug resistance in breast cancer
PO.ET04.03 Biomarkers of Resistance and Sensitivity,
April 1, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Melania Mercado-Pimentel

Melania E. Mercado-Pimentel, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

“My research goals are to study the molecular mechanisms involved in metastasis and to apply this knowledge for the development of cancer treatment. My career objectives are to train young people interested in biomedical research and to mentor and give research opportunities to students of underrepresented populations in science.”

Abstract 2398: S100P/RAGE signaling activates AP1 and NF-­kB in miR-­21/RECK regulation
PO.TB04.06 Genetic Basis of EMT-MET 2,
April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Diana Merino

Diana M. Merino, M.S., Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

“My long-term training goals are to acquire a broad set of skills and experiences in the field of cancer research in order to become an innovative translational scientist who pursues the creation of novel, more personalized and less toxic approaches to cancer treatment. My hope is to pursue a career as a principal investigator and lead research efforts in the field of cancer genomics.”

Abstract 2479: TP53 status as a marker of recurrence and survival in choroid plexus carcinomas
PO.TB08.02 Pediatric Oncology 2, April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Shermaine Mitchell-Ryan

Shermaine K. Mitchell-Ryan, M.S., Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

“After obtaining my doctorate degree in Cancer Biology, I plan to secure a Postdoctoral position in a research environment that focuses on the development of treatments and or the biology cancers that disproportionally affect the African American community, as I would like to transition in to a career as an academic scientist who uses basic science to diminish the cancer disparities that exist with in our nation.”

Abstract 3822: A tumor-targeted 5-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidine antifolate is a potent inhibitor of 5-amino-4-carboxamide formyltransferase in de novo purine biosynthesis
PO.ET06.03 Targeting Metabolism and Gene Expression,
April 3, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Sylvestor Moses

Sylvestor A. Moses, M.S., University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, AZ

“After graduation I plan to take a postdoctoral position focusing on targeted therapies. During this time I will study for and take the MCAT and apply to medical school. Ultimately I plan to return to my reservation in order to provide health care to the people of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and to do research on diseases such as diabetes which disproportionally affect the Native population.”

Abstract 3752: Nanoparticles delivery of a novel AKT/PDK1 inhibitor inhibits pancreatic cancer tumor growth
PO.ET06.08 Kinase Inhibitors, April 3, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Bethsaida Nieves

Bethsaida I. Nieves, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

“Due to my strong desire to touch the lives of children suffering from cancer around the world, my long term career goals are to become a leading principle investigator in the field of pediatric sarcomas and to develop novel therapeutic targets that will make a significant impact in the clinical setting. I will also seek out opportunities to inspire and mentor young budding scientists from underrepresented communities.”

Abstract 204: Molecular Function of the RNA Binding Protein EWS in RNA processing
PO.MCB13.01 Non-Coding RNAs and Cancer: The New Link,
April 1, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Olorunseun Ogunwobi

Olorunseun O. Ogunwobi, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

“I am actively seeking to develop and establish a research program involving the study of mechanisms underlying cancer metastasis. This program will involve establishing clinically relevant murine models of cancer metastasis that will be used to determine novel molecular targets that can be exploited for therapy.”

Abstract 2413: Human glypican-3 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma progression via induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition
PO.TB04.06 Genetic Basis of EMT-MET 2,
April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Trenis Palmer

Trenis D. Palmer, B.S., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

“My long range educational and research training goals are to complete my degree and go on to do more specialized training in cancer biology particularly in the area of metastasis research as a Postdoctoral research associate. After the completion of my Postdoctoral training I intend to continue to do hypothesis driven research in an academic or industry setting while contributing to the field by publishing my research in peer-reviewed journals.”

Abstract 4217: Engaging CD151 inhibits cell migration and metastasis through a novel mechanism involving the cell adhesion molecule ALCAM/CD166
PO.TB03.02 Cell-Cell Adhesion in Regulating Cancer Progression and Drug Resistance, April 3, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Deanna Patmore

Deanna M. Patmore, B.S., Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH

“I intend on completing my graduate studies in cancer and cell biology and then pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in industry. This will assist me in achieving my primary goal, which is to use basic science to develop and implement translational therapeutics for cancer treatment. I am excited to be at the interface of basic and translational science that will result in significant improvements in patient care and discoveries in the clinic.”

Abstract 1433: TC21/R-Ras2 is a critical mediator of the Nf1 Oncogenic Switch
PO.TB08.01 Pediatric Oncology 1, April 2, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Bethany Rankin

Bethany Kristen Rankin, B.S., University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

“I am currently a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at the University at Buffalo. My research focus includes the design and development of human Estrogen Receptor (hER) conformation sensing small molecules and peptidomimetics as potential anti- cancer agents. It is my goal to determine the effects of compounds and peptides on breast cancer cell growth and proliferation by integrating medicinal chemistry, structuromics, and biochemical assays. Ultimately, I aspire to become a physician scientist. By combining my knowledge as a pharmacologist with my future acquired knowledge as a physician, I hope to one day develop treatments that specifically target tamoxifen resistant and triple negative breast cancers. Both subtypes of breast cancer are relatively vigorous and currently lack highly effective treatments. Also, I plan to impact the scientific and global community, by providing innovations to the drug design process and drug accessibility to impoverished communities.”

Abstract 3901: Estrogen receptor conformation sensing small molecules as novel anti-cancer agents
PO.CH01.03 Drug Design 1, April 3, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Zeyana Rivera

Zeyana S. Rivera, Ph.D., Univ. of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI 

“I believe my training as a postdoctoral fellow and the opportunity to attend conferences such as AACR and my drive in research will serve to make me a successful scientist.”

PO.IM02.03 Antibody Therapeutics, April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Raysa Rosario-Acevedo

Raysa Rosario-Acevedo, B.S., Universidad Central del Caribe-School of Medicine, Bayamon, PR

“My long term goal is to obtain my Ph.D. in Molecular Cell and Biology. After obtaining my degree I plan to continue Postdoctoral studies in order to expand my knowledge in breast cancer field. My ultimate career is to teach in any academic institution in relation to the area of Molecular and Cellular Biology or work in industry on the development of novel targeted cancer therapeutics. My ultimate goal is to have my own laboratory where we can create new alternative therapies to help prolong life in cancer patients.”

Abstract 1992: Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) induces autophagy in inflammatory breast cancer by regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway
PO.CH01.01 Natural Products, April 2, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Jennifer Rothberg

Jennifer M. Rothberg, B.S., Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

“Post-graduate I am interested in seeking opportunities for traditional mentored postdoctoral research with added expectations to develop teaching skills at minority-serving institutions, such as the program though the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) offered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).”

Abstract 2467: Acidic pericellular pH increases contribution of cathepsin B to invasiveness of a human breast carcinoma cell line
PO.TB06.05 Matrix and Modulators in Microenvironment,
April 2, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sabrina Samudio-Ruiz

Sabrina L. Samudio-Ruiz, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

“I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico. My long term career goal is to become an independent researcher in the cancer field, preferably as tenure track faculty at a university. My research focuses on epigenetic modifications in ovarian cancer progression. I am currently working on a K01 award application which will help me to acquire some additional training as well as transition to a faculty position. The goal of this additional training is to gain a deeper understanding of the signaling pathways involved in epigenetic modifications during ovarian cancer progression, so that these pathways may become future targets for treatment and potentially promoting future opportunities for me as a translational researcher.”

Abstract 4083: Increased DNA methyltransferase activity and DNA methylation following epidermal growth factor stimulation in ovarian cancer cells
PO.MCB06.03 Inhibitors and Biomarkers, April 3, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Franciso Sanchez-Rivera

Francisco J. Sánchez-Rivera, B.S., David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, Cambridge, MA

“Ever since I started doing research as an undergraduate, I knew that I wanted to pursue a higher degree in biomedical research. 3.5 years into my PhD career, I am more certain than ever. My long-range educational goal is to become a professor. In terms of career objectives, I would also like to train young scientists from underrepresented backgrounds like me who may not have been readily exposed to opportunities in cancer research.”

Abstract 2957: Uncovering tumor-specific components of the p53 pathway using mouse models and RNAi
MS.MCB04.01 Raf, Ras, Myc, and p53, April 2, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Cherease Street

Cherease R. Street, B.S., City University of New York Medical School, New York, NY

“I am a third year medical student in a seven-year BS/MD program. My interest lies in cancer prevention research. I appreciate the importance of basic science research in the advancement of patient care. The knowledge that I will acquire by attending AACR meetings will continue to facilitate my development into a more knowledgeable, competent and compassionate physician. I intend to continue working in cancer research throughout my educational career as well as my professional career as a physician.”

Abstract 3891: NOSH-aspirin, a novel nitric oxide- and hydrogen sulfide-releasing hybrid is a potent inhibitor of colon cancer cell growth
PO.CH01.03 Drug Design 1, April 3, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Minority Scholars A-K

Minority Scholars L-Z (top)