AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Fellowships

The AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Fellowships represent a joint effort to encourage and support mentored young investigators to conduct cancer research. Funded research projects are translational or clinical in nature.

2021 Grantees

AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Cancer Disparities Research Fellowship
Kyle A. Cottrell, PhD

Kyle A. Cottrell, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scholar 
Washington University in St. Louis 
St. Louis, Missouri 
Addressing breast cancer disparities by targeting ADAR

Research
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the deadliest form of breast cancer, affects Black/ African American women at twice the rate of white women. Dr. Cottrell and his colleagues have previously found that many TNBC cell lines are dependent on the expression of the RNA editing enzyme ADAR. These ADAR-dependent cell lines have elevated interferon signaling. Given that interferon signaling is higher in Black/African American breast tumors than tumors in white patients, Dr. Cottrell hypothesizes that therapies targeting ADAR may be more effective for Black/African American patients. He aims to explore the mechanism of ADAR-dependency and to develop a classification model for predicting which tumors will be sensitive to ADAR inhibition.

Biography
Dr. Cottrell received his PhD in molecular cell biology from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied post-transcriptional regulation by microRNAs and RNA binding proteins. He currently works as a postdoctoral research scholar at Washington University in St. Louis, where he focuses on the role of RNA editing in triple-negative breast cancer.

Acknowledgment of Support
I am truly honored to receive the 2021 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Cancer Disparities Research Fellowship. This support will allow me to elucidate the mechanisms of ADAR-dependency in triple-negative breast cancer and will hopefully lead to an effective therapy that will reduce the disparate effects of this disease.

AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
Kelly P. Burke, MD, PhD

Kelly P. Burke, MD, PhD

Hematology-Oncology Fellow 
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 
Boston, Massachusetts 
Dissecting CTLA-4 and PD-1 cooperation in tumor immunity and adverse events

Research
Although immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has had remarkable clinical success, it can potentially cause inflammation in organs that clinically resembles autoimmune disease. Applying genetic approaches in mouse models, Dr. Burke aims to 1) elucidate how loss of CTLA-4 and PD-1 signaling alters the function of CD4+ during tumor growth or the development of spontaneous inflammation and 2) develop strategies to blunt the undesired inflammation and immunopathology.

Biography
Dr. Burke obtained her MD and PhD in immunology from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she studied the T cell response against the hepatitis C virus. She completed her internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and is a medical oncology fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center. Dr. Burke is a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, where she studies the development of protective anti-tumor immunity and the development of adverse events.

Acknowledgment of Support
I am tremendously honored to be the recipient of the 2021 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship. This support will advance my research and goal to become an independent investigator at the intersection of clinical oncology and basic mechanisms in immuno-oncology.

2020 Grantee

AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
Chris Nabel, MD, PhD

Chris Nabel, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Metabolic and immune profiling of kras-subsets in lung adenocarcinoma

Research
In lung cancer, patients with combined mutations in KRAS and STK11/LKB1 (KL) have among the worst overall survival even when compared to other KRAS-subsets such as KRAS and TP53 (KP). LKB1 is a serine-threonine kinase with numerous targets, including the energy sensor AMPK, and influences cell metabolism. To explore the consequences of LKB1-mutation on the metabolic and immune components of the tumor microenvironment, Dr. Nabel and colleagues are set to use mass spectrometry-based methods to quantify absolute metabolite levels in the tumor interstitial fluid of KP and KL mouse tumors to study the effects of these metabolic changes on cancer cell proliferation and immunologic activation. Using Multiplex Fluorescence Immunohistochemistry, they will further evaluate differing immune cell populations in human patient tumor samples with KP and KL mutations.

Biography
Dr. Nabel obtained his MD and PhD in cell and molecular biology at the University of Pennsylvania studying APOBEC enzymology. He completed internal medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is a medical oncology fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, where he sees patients with the Center for Thoracic Cancers. Dr. Nabel is a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, where he studies the metabolic basis of lung cancer biology and cancer cell proliferation.

Acknowledgment of Support
I am greatly appreciative for the 2020 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship. As a medical oncologist-in-training, I am dedicated to a career leading an independent basic science research group that will improve treatments for cancer patients through discovery. This fellowship allows me to bridge the gap between trainee and independent investigator.