Golnaz Morad, DDS, PhD

Golnaz Morad, DDS, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Surgical Oncology
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

My research interests focus on understanding the interplay between tumor cells and the components of the tumor microenvironment to elucidate the early mechanisms underlying metastasis formation, in particular brain metastasis. I completed my PhD at Harvard University under the supervision of Dr. Marsha Moses, Vascular Biology Program, Boston Children’s Hospital. The focus of my graduate studies was to determine the role of breast cancer-derived extracellular vesicles in the early steps of brain metastasis. Through this work, I identified the mechanisms by which breast cancer-derived extracellular vesicles breach the blood brain barrier and the functional consequences of this transport with respect to brain metastasis. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Dr. Jennifer Wargo, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where I study the role of gut, tumor, and circulating microbiome in the development and progression of different cancer types including metastatic brain tumors. My ultimate career goal is to become an independent academic researcher, and I intend to continue my research on the initial aspects of metastasis development, with a final goal to translate our findings into more effective diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer patients.

I became an Associate member of the AACR in 2015 and attended the AACR Annual Meeting for the first time in 2017. The AACR programs aimed toward early-career scientists have really helped me define my career goals and have provided me with the guidance and support necessary to achieve these goals. I am greatly honored to serve as a member of the AACR Associate Member Council (AMC) and am looking forward to organizing programs and developing new initiatives to provide support to early-career scientists.”