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NextGen Stars

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The NextGen Stars program provides an exciting opportunity to increase the visibility of early-career scientists at the AACR Annual Meeting and to support the professional development and advancement of those selected as AACR NextGen Stars.

Congratulations to the 2021 Nextgen Stars!

View the abstracts of the NextGen Stars’ presentations for the AACR Annual Meeting 2021:

Andrew Aguirre, MD, PhD

Andrew Aguirre, MD, PhD

Physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Synthetic lethal interaction between the ESCRT paralog enzymes VPS4A and VPS4B in cancers harboring loss of chromosome 18q or 16q

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS01 – Genetics and Epigenetics
Saturday, April 10, 2021, 4-5:45 p.m.

Moran Amit, MD, PhD

Moran Amit, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Cancer takes a nerve: Loss of p53 drives neuron reprogramming in head and neck cancer

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS02 – Tumor Microenvironment, Metastasis, and Oncogenesis
Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2-3:45 p.m.

Xuhui Bao, MD, PhD

Xuhui Bao, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Dermatology
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

From cholesterol regulation to tumor suppression: Pcsk9 as a novel target for cancer immunotherapy

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS03 – Immunology and Targeted Therapy
Monday, April 12, 2021, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Shruti Bhatt, PhD

Shruti Bhatt, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Reduction in mitochondrial priming drives resistance to targeted therapy in acute myeloid leukemia

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS03 – Immunology and Targeted Therapy

Monday, April 12, 2021, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

George M. Burslem, PhD

George M. Burslem, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Addressing scaffolding roles of oncogenic kinases with targeted protein degradation

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS02 – Tumor Microenvironment, Metastasis, and Oncogenesis

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2-3:45 p.m.

Pau Castel, PhD

Pau Castel, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar, HDF Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Oncoprotein duality in cancer and developmental syndromes: Lessons learned from RAS GTPases

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS02 – Tumor Microenvironment, Metastasis, and Oncogenesis

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2-3:45 p.m.

Burcu Darst, PhD

Burcu Darst, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Preventive Medicine

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Multiethnic prostate cancer GWAS meta-analysis identifies novel variants, improves genetic risk prediction across populations, and informs biological mechanisms of prostate cancer

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS01 – Genetics and Epigenetics

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 4-5:45 p.m.

Christy R. Hagan, PhD

Christy R. Hagan, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas

Progesterone-mediated immune evasion in breast cancer

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS03 – Immunology and Targeted Therapy

Monday, April 12, 2021, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Xin Jin, PhD

Xin Jin, PhD

Scientist/Group Lead

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts

A metastasis map of human cancer cell lines

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS02 – Tumor Microenvironment, Metastasis, and Oncogenesis

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2-3:45 p.m.

Anusha Kalbasi, MD

Anusha Kalbasi, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation and Oncology

David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Orthogonal IL-9 receptor signaling reprograms T cells to obviate conditioning chemotherapy before adoptive cell therapy

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS03 – Immunology and Targeted Therapy

Monday, April 12, 2021, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Yuxuan Phoenix Miao, PhD

Yuxuan Phoenix Miao, PhD

Assistant Professor, Ben May Department of Cancer Research

The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Decoding the stem cells-immune cell dialogues for cancer immunotherapy

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS03 – Immunology and Targeted Therapy

Monday, April 12, 2021, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Zeribe Chike Nwosu, PhD

Zeribe Chike Nwosu, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Rogel Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Identification of high priority genes for basic and translational pancreatic cancer research

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS01 – Genetics and Epigenetics

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 4-5:45 p.m.

Sara Pedron, PhD

Sara Pedron, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Bioengineered tissue mimetic hydrogels to study brain tumor biology and screen therapeutics

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS02 – Tumor Microenvironment, Metastasis, and Oncogenesis

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2-3:45 p.m.

Luis Alberto Perez-Quintero, MD, PhD

Luis Alberto Perez-Quintero, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry

Goodman Cancer Research Centre, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

BatF3 commands enhanced anti-tumoral effector functions of CD8 T cells with reduced PTPN1/PTPN2 activity

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS03 – Immunology and Targeted Therapy

Monday, April 12, 2021, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Debattama Sen, PhD

Debattama Sen, PhD

Member of the Faculty, Center for Cancer Research

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School

Disrupting enhancers within the core epigenetic program of exhaustion improves CD8+ T cell responses and enhances tumor control

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS01 – Genetics and Epigenetics

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 4-5:45 p.m.

Eneda Toska, PhD

Eneda Toska, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Epigenetic mechanisms of endocrine therapy response in breast cancer

NextGen Stars Spotlight Session SS01 – Genetics and Epigenetics

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 4-5:45 p.m.