Meet Miles For Moffitt Cancer Research Award Recipients

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Miles For Moffitt Proceeds Support Cancer Research


The PNC Bank Miles for Moffitt event is more than just a race; it’s a bridge bringing patients, survivors, sponsors, corporate supporters and members of the community together to join in Moffitt Cancer Center’s mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.
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100 percent of registration fees and donations go directly to support the ongoing research at Moffitt Cancer Center. Since the race began in 2006, Miles for Moffitt has awarded close to $1.5 million to support this groundbreaking work.

About 6,000 runners and walkers crossed the finish line at last year’s PNC Bank Miles for Moffitt, and Moffitt Cancer Center is planning a bigger and better race to be held May 10, 2014.  Join us in this great cause and encourage your colleagues, friends, family and others to support your effort by joining your team. Visit www.MilesforMoffitt.com to sign up for the 8K, 5K, one mile fun run/walk, or to be a virtual runner.

In 2013 Miles for Moffitt presented awards to the following five Moffitt cancer researchers from proceeds of the 2012 Miles for Moffitt event. Here’s a summary of the scientific work being performed by these award recipients.

Jiandong Chen, Ph.D.
Senior Member, Cancer Biology and Evolution Program
Nucleolar silencing and maintenance of cellular senescence
Research findings of Dr. Chen and colleagues suggest a novel role of nucleolar rDNA silencing in the maintenance of senescence (the process of aging and the death of cells), which may have clinical relevance in sustaining chemotherapy’s effect in inhibiting cancer cell growth and division.

Anna Giuliano, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Infection Research in Cancer

Senior Member, Cancer Epidemiology Program
Building a vaccine strategy to prevent oral cancers in men
The research of Dr. Giuliano and colleagues seeks to address whether HPV-specific antibodies are measurable at the site of infection (i.e., oral epithelium) following vaccination and to better understand the association between serum antibody titer and presence of antibodies at the oral epithelium. Together with clinical faculty and staff at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. Giuliano and her team are uniquely positioned to fill critical gaps in knowledge and progressively move toward the design and implementation of clinical trials whose results can significantly impact clinical practice and ultimately reduce the cancer burden.

Y. Ann Chen, Ph.D.
Assistant Member, Cancer Epidemiology Program
Faculty Biostatistician

Investigating potential functional mechanisms of known germline variants and discovering novel variants using integrated molecular analysis with application in glioma
Leveraging Total Cancer Care® data as well as the publicly available multidimensional omics data, the long-term goals of Dr. Chen and her team are to establish bioinformatics and biostatistics infrastructure,  develop an integrated analytical framework for investigating functional consequences of identified germline variants and identify additional novel variants, especially those of the uncommon/high penetrance subtype.

David Morse, Ph.D.
Assistant Member, Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program

Targeting agents for metastatic melanoma
Dr. Morse and his team aim to discover appropriate cell-surface targeting agents for metastatic melanoma. Such agents are essential for certain targeted therapies to work in the treatment of cancers that are resistant to most systemic therapies.

Brian Betts, M.D.
Assistant Member, Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Immunology Program

In vivo Treg expansion with a novel GVHD prophylaxis regimen of IL-2/Sirolimus/Tacrolimus
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (bone marrow tissue or cells received from a donor) is often used to treat patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies. When a patient receives an allogeneic transplant, the new transplanted cells can treat the recipient’s body as foreign and attack the recipient’s body, a condition called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD significantly affects transplant-related mortality. Dr. Betts and colleagues are conducting a phase II trial of 20 patients to evaluate in vivo Treg expansion with a novel GVHD prophylaxis regimen of IL-2/SIR/TAC. If they find that acute GVHD is reduced, they will expand the trial to further test the efficacy of IL-2/SIR/TAC in a larger patient population.

 
 
 
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