2014 Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Awards

Joseph AgyinJoseph K. Agyin, PhD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

“My long-range career objective is to be a successful independent scientist and a principal investigator with RO1 grants.”

Neelam AzadNeelam Azad, PhD, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia

“My research focuses on exploring the modalities that dictate pathogenesis of pulmonary disorders, particularly lung fibrosis and lung cancer, both diseases that disproportionately afflict minority populations. I am involved in the identification of specific molecular targets and biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. My long-term career goal is to become a successful academician and establish a successful research program dedicated to the investigation of lung pathologies.”

Abstract 1328: Differential autophagy responses in non-tumorigenic and malignantly transformed lung epithelial cells
Poster Session: Death Signaling in Apoptosis, Necrosis, and Autophagy

Yousef A. Beni, PhD, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee

“My research goal is to integrate diverse research backgrounds to address biological questions related to cancer. It can be appropriately described as "the application of medicinal chemistry to solving problems in biology." The long-term objective of my research is to develop general and versatile strategies for the synthesis of various anticancer drugs.”

Abstract 2512: Design and antiproliferative evaluation of cell-penetrating TPM-Dox conjugates as prodrugs
Poster Session: Small Molecule Design, Identification, and Optimization 2

Suranganie DharmawardhaneSuranganie Dharmawardhane, PhD, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico

“My goals are to transition my research program in a more translational direction by conducting clinical trials for the novel antimetastatic breast cancer therapeutics we are developing; to understand mechanisms of therapy resistance so we can design more effective therapeutic strategies to overcome therapy resistance; and to continue training and mentoring underrepresented minorities in the biomedical sciences to be successful cancer researchers. My long-term career coals are to become a PI of a program project/COBRE (P20/U54) type grant and play a leadership role with mentoring and influencing institutional and national policies on cancer research.”

Abstract 4390: Non-coding RNAs in EGFR therapy resistance in breast cancer
Poster Session: MicroRNAs and Therapeutics

Jodie FlemingJodie M. Fleming, PhD, North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina

“My long-range career objectives are to run a robust translational breast cancer research program that contributes noteworthy advances to the field of cancer research, as well as identify ways to reduce incident and mortality rates of cancer patients, and to promote the retention of minority/underrepresented students and women in cancer research.”

Abstract 1987: The role of lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor in directing breast cancer cell behavior and subtype
Poster Session: Impact of Tissue Context on Tumor Progression and Treatment

Yanfen HuYanfen Hu, PhD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

“My long-range career objective is to become an accomplished cancer research scientist in the field of breast cancer. My long-term research goals are breast cancer prevention and treatment. In addition, to prevent familial breast cancer associated with BRCA1 mutations, I am also interested in sporadic breast cancer prevention. The observation that early and multi-pregnancies reduce breast cancer risk provides a clue on natural strategies on breast cancer prevention. Interestingly, Hispanic women tend to have both early and multiple pregnancies. We are interested in how this, in combination with other factors (obesity, etc.), affects breast cancer risks.”

Abstract 1563: Damage-induced BRCA1 phosphorylation contributes to the timing of end resection
Poster Session: Tumor Suppressors 2

Anand IyerAnand Iyer, PhD, Hampton University School of Pharmacy, Hampton, Virginia

“My research is focused on delineating the signaling pathways involved in the progression of lung cancer. The primary area of my research interest is cancer cell biology, with specific focus on lung cancer, with emphasis on cell death mechanisms that are modulated. I hope to continue my work in the cancer field, and hope to develop therapies that may be useful in the clinic. I also wish to be actively involved in academic research, while balancing my time with students so that I can share my passion for science.”

Abstract 1331: MonoD, a novel analogue of digitoxin, induces superoxide mediated autophagic cell death in H460 lung cancer cells
Poster Session: Death Signaling in Apoptosis, Necrosis, and Autophagy

Khosrow KashfiKhosrow Kashfi, PhD, City University of New York Medical School, New York, New York

“I enjoy teaching and hope to continue in that capacity for years to come. We have developed some very interesting and novel compounds, establishing a new class of anti-inflammatory agents. I hope that at least one of these agents will make it to the clinic.”

Abstract 793: NOSH-aspirin and 5-fluorouracil demonstrate synergistic efficacy in a xenograft model of colon cancer
Poster Session: Novel Combinations / Retrospective Analyses

Dae Joon KimDae Joon Kim, PhD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

“The goal of my research is to understand the functional role of protein tyrosine phosphatases in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of environmentally-induced carcinogenesis and develop novel potential therapeutic approaches for the prevention of cancer.”

Abstract 1353: Protein tyrosine phosphatases PTP-1B, SHP-2 and PTEN facilitate Rb/E2F-associated apoptotic signaling
Poster Session: Death Signaling in Apoptosis, Necrosis, and Autophagy

Bernard Kwabi-AddoBernard Kwabi-Addo, PhD, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

“My long-term career goals are to elucidate the contribution of epigenetic alterations in prostate cancer disparities, identify novel epigenetic markers for the disease detection and become a world renowned cancer prevention educator.”

Abstract 388: Epigenome-wide profiling identified significant differences in DNA methylation between African-American and European-American men with prostate cancer
Poster Session: Epigenetics 1

Dana MarshallDana R. Marshall, PhD, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee

“My long-range career objectives include a comprehensive exploration of the AHSG protein and its role in oral squamous cell carcinoma tumorigenesis and metastasis. This includes identification of the effect of naturally occurring snps on the function of the protein. Additionally, I will continue to provide mentoring support to medical students pursuing careers as physician scientists. I will do this through personal mentoring and by providing the opportunity through my summer program that is funded by NCI.”

Abstract 5306: Shotgun proteomic analysis of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell line SQ20B with diminished AHSG expression
Poster Session: Proteomics

Edward A. Medina, MD, PhD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

“My goal as a physician-scientist is to establish a productive, extramurally-funded research program focused on uncovering the mechanisms by which obesity increases the risk of multiple myeloma.”

Abstract 2437: PKA/AMPK signaling is a mediator of the anti-proliferative effect of adiponectin on multiple myeloma cells
Poster Session: Metabolic Pathways 2

Smita MisraSmita Misra, PhD, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee

“My long-range career objective is to develop myself as a contributing researcher toward the cure of cancer as well as to become an effective teacher to graduate students. My research goal is to identify effective biomarkers and chemotherapy against breast cancer.”

Abstract 3159: ZAR2 transcriptionally represses the ATPase ATP6V0A4 to negatively regulate invasiveness of breast cancer cells
Poster Session: Tumor Motility and Invasion 1

Carlos Perez-StableCarlos Perez-Stable, PhD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

“My long-range career objectives are to maintain a productive laboratory in the prostate cancer field, publish quality papers in high impact journals, receive consistent grant funding, be promoted to research professor, and continue mentoring young minority students in their careers. My major research goals are to discover new therapeutic agents and combinations that will selectively kill prostate cancer cells and not harm non-cancer cells and tissues; and to obtain a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of why a specific agent kills prostate cancer but not non-cancer cells. Ultimately, the information obtained in our preclinical studies can be translated to patients.”

Abstract 334: Mcl-1 protects prostate cancer cells from chemotherapy-induced DNA damage
Poster Session: Bcl-2 Family and Mitochondrial Pathway of Apoptosis

Aramandla RameshAramandla Ramesh, PhD, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee

“My goals are to delineate the mechanisms involved in gene X environment interactions in the development of colon cancer; to understand the molecular basis of colon cancer chemoprevention by resveratrol and olive oil; and to survey the dietary, smoking habits, toxicant exposure and colon tumor development in African-Americans compared to other racial/ethnic groups.”

Abstract 1583: Western diet enhances benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P]-induced colon tumorigenesis in the PIRC rat model via proinflammatory mechanisms
Poster Session: Chemical and Physical Carcinogenesis

Deodutta RoyDeodutta Roy, PhD, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

“My long-term research goal is to identify and understand individual susceptibility to breast cancer resulting from exposure to a major risk factor, estrogen, to explain the disproportionate risks of breast cancer disease on particular populations and to define prevention and intervention strategies in affected populations. Our study has a potential to establish a new paradigm and lay the groundwork to identify NRF-1 as a new breast tumor diagnostic and prognostic indicator. I plan to expand my recent work in modeling of gene-gene interactions in order to identify sets of biological markers that can be used to measure and monitor brain cancer disparity. My long-term career goal is to continue to sustain a well-funded research program at Florida International University that publishes papers in high-impact journals and trains future minority cancer research scholars to be ‘Worlds Ahead.’”

Abstract 3179: Redox signaling to nuclear respiratory factor-1 proteins by reactive oxygen species contributes to the estrogen-induced breast tumor development
Poster Session: Environmental and Viral Carcinogenesis

Zaki SherifZaki A. Sherif, PhD, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

“The long-term objective of my research is to develop a critical understanding of the mechanisms by which p53 regulates cancer immune-surveillance through cross-talk with the tumor micro-environment so that therapeutic agents can be developed to curtail cancer progression.”

Abstract 1104: The role of DLL4 in cancer immune-surveillance and its pathogenicity in p53-dysregulated environment
Poster Session: Dynamic Interactions in the Tumor Microenvironment

Chung-Seog SongChung-Seog Song, PhD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

“Currently, we have three students in our lab under my supervision; two of them are involved in MD/PhD programs and they are enthusiastically doing translational research in prostate cancer. We have established new set of experiments in order to find potential treatment modalities in prostate cancer. The abstract that we are going to present at the AACR meeting is the novel finding one of these projects.”

Abstract 3312: The antibiotic salinomycin cotargets two pivotal pathways in prostate cancer
Poster Session: Cell Signaling 1: Breast, Prostate, and Lung Cancer

Medhi WangpaichitrMedhi Wangpaichitr, PhD, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

“My long-term goals include becoming a leader in the realm of lung cancer metabolism and translational science. I hope to establish a level of expertise in a distinct and unique field of study, which hopefully will help answer important clinical questions. Ultimately, my goal is to establish my own independent research team and laboratory at our minority-serving institution.”

Abstract 1428: Targeting metabolic alteration in cisplatin-resistant lung cancer
Poster Session: Metabolic Pathways 1

Xiaohe YangXiaohe Yang, MD, PhD, North Carolina Central University, Kannapolis, North Carolina

“My long-term research goal is to identify the risk factors that contribute to breast cancer etiology and develop strategies for breast cancer prevention. We are particularly interested in the etiology and prevention of triple-negative breast cancer.”

Abstract 2967: Metformin selectively targets tumor initiating cells in erbb-2 overexpressing breast cancer models
Minisymposium: Cancer Prevention