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The Bosarge Family Foundation-Waun Ki Hong Scholar Award for Regenerative Cancer Medicine

The Bosarge Family Foundation-Waun Ki Hong Scholar Award for Regenerative Cancer Medicine represents a joint effort to encourage and support postdoctoral or clinical research fellows to conduct highly novel and provocative research in the field of regenerative cancer medicine and to establish a successful career path in this field. The research proposed for funding may be translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to enhancing the physiology or function of cancer survivors using regenerative medicine techniques.

2019 Grantee

Alfredo Oliveros A., PhD

Alfredo Oliveros A., PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota
Caffeine as a novel Adora2a regenerative strategy for treating chemobrain

Cisplatin chemotherapy, although efficacious in cancer treatment, potentiates off-target cognitive dysfunction, known as chemobrain. Without a known cure, there is a critical need to develop effective therapies to prevent chemobrain and regenerate cognitive function. This proposal establishes a clinical cisplatin-chemotherapy mouse model revealing that cisplatin administration impairs hippocampal neuronal morphology while inducing significant emotional and memory deficits. RNA-sequencing of hippocampal tissue derived from mice administered cisplatin compared to controls revealed upregulation of the adenosine A2A receptor (Adora2a). In this proposed work, Dr. Oliveros aims to test the hypothesis that Adora2a inhibition can prevent chemobrain. He will use a DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) approach to inhibit Adora2a-expressing neurons. This proposal will also determine whether caffeine, an inexpensive and readily available Adora2a antagonist, attenuates cisplatin-induced chemobrain, thus highlighting Adora2a as a promising therapeutic target for chemobrain.

Dr. Oliveros’s scientific trajectory – an undergraduate psychology research-assistant at the University of North Florida, a neuropsychopharmacology technician, a molecular-neuropharmacology graduate student and a post-doctoral regenerative neurobiologist at Mayo Clinic – has shaped his interest in elucidating how neurological disease affects behavior. His research has resulted in top publications and a growing list of conference presentations and grant awards. His post-doctoral investigations at Mayo Clinic focus on how chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction affects the regenerative neurobiology of cancer survivors. In conjunction with his outstanding fellowship advisory team, he is on track toward becoming an independent scientist.

Acknowledgement of Support
Throughout my scientific career, I have endeavored to study how neurological disease detrimentally affects human behavior. Receipt of this generous award will allow me to successfully bridge the disciplines of cancer-biology and neurobiology to foster novel discoveries to benefit cancer survivors, while paving the way toward becoming an independent scientist.