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Program Spotlight Archive

Brent Kuenzi was selected to receive the 2016 Outstanding Research Accomplishment Award for his many achievements in the past year. He is shown accepting the award certificate from Program Director Dr. Ken Wright during the annual Student Welcome Reception.

CBSO President Rebecca Hesterberg, is shown receiving the 2016 CBSO Leadership Award at the Student Welcome Reception. The Cancer Biology Student Organization selects a member who has demonstrated leadership qualities during CBSO sponsored events and community outreach throughout the year. Rebecca is receiving the award from Vice President Melissa Martinez.

Dr. Daniele Gilkes, Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, presented during Moffitt Cancer Center Basic Science Grand Rounds on Wednesday, August 31. The title of her presentation was: "The non-cellular contribution of the tumor microenvironment in cancer metastasis". Dr. Gilkes was also a featured speaker at the annual Student Welcome Reception that evening held at the USF Gibbons Alumni Center (despite Hurricane Hermine!). Dr. Gilkes, pictured here with Dr. Julie Djeu, ACD for Education and Training at Moffitt, received her PhD in Cancer Biology in 2008.

Dr. Jackie Johnson, founder and managing director of JLJ Consultancy, is first author on a review paper recently published in Oncogene. Titled "Targeting the RB-E2F pathway in breast cancer", the paper originates from Dr. Johnson's time as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Rene Bernards, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam.

Natalia Sumi, third year student in Dr. Uwe Rix's lab, was selected as a recipient of a $10,000 research award from the Circle of Hope for Cancer Research Organization. The non-profit organization was started three years ago by Rosa Holloway and Joan Tashbar, both cancer survivors. Pictured are Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Jr., also a cancer survivor, awardee Natalia Sumi and founders of Circle of Hope Rosa Holloway and Joan Tashbar. Congratulations, Natalia!

The Cancer Biology Student Organization (CBSO) invited Dr. Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Professor of Biological Sciences and Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to visit and present a seminar on her current research in June. Members of the CBSO hosted Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg during her visit, developing her itinerary and introducing her prior to her talk. Please see the flyer for Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg's seminar in the "Cancer Biology Seminars 2016-2017" table at the bottom of the home page.

Selfies! Kamira Maharaj and Shonagh Russell provided these selfies from recent conferences. Kamira is pictured at AAI with her mentor Dr. Javier Pinilla and Dr. Jason Dubovsky, a 2011 graduate from the Cancer Biology Program. Shonagh poses with fellow students Tyler Keeley and Pat Innamarato in front of the Washington Monument during AACR.

Natalia Junqueira Sumi is a recipient of a USF Office of Graduate Studies International Travel Grant. Students selected receive up to $2,000 toward travel to a conference outside the United States. Natalia will travel to Sicily to attend the Lipari School on Computational Life Sciences, Computational Drug Science and High-Precision Medicine, July 9-15, 2017. She will also participant in a poster session during the course. Congratulations, Natalia!

Jeremy Frieling has been selected to participate in the AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program this summer. This highly selective program places advanced undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate science, engineering and mathematics students at media organizations across the country. Jeremy will spend 10 weeks at the Raleigh News and Observer learning how to make science news easy for the public to understand. In its 42 year history, the program has supported over 670 fellows. Jeremy's fellowship is sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Congrats, Jeremy!

Courtney Schaal, right, is pictured with her Major Professor, Dr. Srikumar Chellappan, at USF Commencement held on December 10, 2016. Courtney is the 50th graduate in the Program's 15 year history!

Brent was selected to give an Oral Presentaton of his abstract "Ceritinib inhibits ALK-negative non-small cell lung cancer through a non-canonical polypharmacology mechanism" during the 2016 Moffitt Scientific Symposium on May 6.

Melissa Martinez also presented her abstract "Personalized Detection of Multiple Myeloma Tumor Burden"during the morning session of the Symposium.

Ashley Basiorka was the third student selected to give an oral presentation of her abstract which was titled: "Identification of Pyroptotic ASC Specks as a Diagnostic Biomarker for Myelodysplastic Syndromes".

Sridevi Challa, won an award in the Translational Science category for her poster titled: "Activation of EphA2/IKBKE by PARP inhibitor: a mechanism and a critical target of PARP inhibitor resistance".

Ashley Basiorka, far right, is shown with Dr. Sheng Wei and Dr. Erika Eksioglu at ASH 2016. Ashley received a Cancer Biology Travel award to attend the conference and present a poster on her graduate research.

Shonagh Russell is pictured with her poster during the ISCam 2016 Conference held in Brussels, Belgium in October. Shonagh received a Cancer Biology Travel Award to help her attend the conference.

Brent Kuenzi, fourth year student in Dr. Uwe Rix's lab, has been notified that his F99/K00 application was selected for funding. The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award is to "encourage outstanding late-stage graduate students with a demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing careers as independent researchers by facilitating the successful transition to their postdoctoral positions". The award is designed to fund up to 2 years toward completing the Ph.D. dissertation research and then fund 3-4 years of mentored postdoctoral research. Congratulations, Brent!

Courtney Schaal, a fifth year graduate student in Dr. Srikumar Chellappan's lab, is first author on a review paper, "Nicotine-Mediated Cell Proliferation and Tumor Progression in Smoking-Related Cancers" which was recognized during the 2016 AACR Annual Meeting as one of the most highly cited Molecular Cancer Research articles published in 2014! The abstract is contained in The Best of the AACR Journals: 2014 Papers. Great work, Courtney!

Dr. Jianing Fu (pictured above) was awarded the TTS Young Investigator Scientific Award to attend the 26th International Congress of The Transplantation Society in Hong Kong in August. Dr. Fu received the award during the Presidential Plenary and Awards session on Monday, August 22.

Additionally, Dr. Fu's abstract, "Generation of Naive Donor-Derived Lymphocytes from Graft-Resident Lymphoid Progenitors After Human Intestinal Transplantation" was selected for oral presentation at the 2016 American Transplant Congress held in Boston, MA in June.

Dr. Inna Fedorenko, 2014 graduate and postdoctoral fellow in the Smalley lab at the Moffitt Cancer Center, received a Career Development Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation for her project "Identifying and Targeting Melanoma Cells That Metastasize to the Brain." The award totaled $50,000/year for two years.