AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Fellowship

The AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Fellowship represents a joint effort to promote and support postdoctoral and clinical research fellows to conduct innovative research focused on Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields). TTFields are intermediate frequency, low intensity, alternating electric fields that disrupt cell division in cancer cells. This grant is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of action of this novel anti-cancer treatment modality and to accelerate the development of new treatment strategies to advance therapeutic options for cancer. Funded research can be basic or translational in nature.

2019 Grantees

Francesca Anna Carrieri, PhD

Francesca Anna Carrieri, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
Centrosome clustering inhibition to enhance Tumor Treating Fields

Research
Centrosome-clustering inhibition (CCI) provides a means to selectively kill cancer cells with supernumerary centrosomes (SNC). SNC are observed in the earliest stages of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) development, leading to more aggressive tumor biology. Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) has been shown to have anti-cancer properties against PDAC by disrupting cancer cell replication, therefore affecting microtubule biology. Dr. Carrieri hypothesizes that TTFields mechanistically exert their selective anti-tumor effects on cells with SNC. She aims to determine whether the combination of TTFields and inhibition of centrosome clustering can enhance treatment efficacy against PDAC.

Biography
Dr. Carrieri received a Wellcome Trust PhD fellowship at University of Dundee, UK, where she mainly trained in biochemistry. After receiving her PhD in cellular and molecular biology, she joined Johns Hopkins University as a postdoctoral fellow.

Acknowledgement of Support
I am extremely honored to be awarded the AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Fellowship. This award will support my research advancing therapeutic options for pancreatic cancer. It will also enable me to further develop my scientific career and become an independent investigator.

Preshita Desai, PhD

Preshita Desai, PhD

Research Scientist
Western University of Health Sciences
Pomona, California
Tumor Treating Fields triggered targeting of nanoparticles in cancer

Research
In recent years, Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) has emerged as a promising, non-invasive modality in the treatment of cancer. Although TTFields are relatively safe, their concurrent use with anticancer drugs can result in non-site-specific severe drug adverse effects. To address this unmet need, Dr. Desai has proposed a novel approach, Tumor Treating Fields Triggered Targeting of Nanoparticles in Cancer (TTFields-TTONIC), for pancreatic cancer treatment. She is developing, optimizing, and assessing targeted self-assembling nanoparticles that are capable of releasing anticancer drugs at tumor sites in the presence of TTFields to ensure tumor specificity.

Biography
Dr. Desai received her PhD (Tech.) in Pharmaceutics from the Institute of Chemical Technology, India. She received an INSPIRE Fellowship and UKIERI Visiting Fellowship (UK-India) to conduct her doctoral studies. She is currently working as a research scientist at the Western University of Health Sciences, where she is pursuing multiple projects on nano-formulation development for cancer treatment and prevention.

Acknowledgement of Support
I am honored to receive the AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Fellowship, which will give me an opportunity to develop Tumor Treating Fields targeted nano-drug delivery systems for the treatment of cancer. This fellowship is a key milestone in my career and will enable me to become an independent scientist.