Meet Our Students

IlahIlah

My research focuses on investigating oncogenic signaling pathways in melanoma and melanomagenesis using the ESC-GEMM platform

Major Professor:  Florian Karreth, Ph.D.


Wendy

My research focuses on understanding mechanisms of Natural Killer (NK) cell dysregulation in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), and the development of novel immunotherapeutic modalities aimed at improving hematopoiesis.

Major Professor: Sheng Wei, MD


PatrickPat

My research focuses on the role of immunosuppressive myeloid cells in the context of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) in patients with solid tumors. The goal of this research is to define novel strategies that augment and target these suppressor cells to enhance the efficacy of ACT.

Major Professor:  Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD


Mengyu

My research is to understand IFN gamma and TNF alpha mediated immune surveillance in lung cancer, and their signaling cross talking with RAS-RAF-MEK pathway. I am also interested in developing novel immune therapeutics based on mechanisms discovered in our lab. 

Major Professor: Amer Beg, PhD


Jeremy

My research focuses on uncovering novel therapeutic options for skeletal malignancies by:  1. Understanding the roles of mesenchymal stem cells in the progression bone metastatic prostate cancer.  2. Preclinical testing of HDAC inhibition for the treatment of primary and lung metastatic osteosarcoma. 

Major Professor: Conor Lynch, PhD


HaoHao

I am interested in understanding how metastatic malignancies thrive in the bone marrow microenvironment. My dissertation projects use interdisciplinary approaches to understand and therapeutically target molecular and cellular crosstalk within the bone-metastatic niche in models of multiple myeloma and prostate cancer.

Major Professor: Conor Lynch, PhD


Kamira 

My research focuses on understanding the role of immunomodulation in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We investigate how to augment anti-tumor effects while reversing immune dysfunction through manipulation of the immune-microenvironment.

Major Professor: Javier Pinilla-Ibarz, MD, PhD


Shonagh

I am interested in understanding the impact of acid in the tumor microenvironment and how, and why cancers, especially the more aggressive and metastatic cancers, tend to be acidic. I focus on studying proton producing proteins and how these affect cancer metabolism, migration and metastasis.

Major Professor: Robert Gillies, PhD


Grace

I am currently studying the role of autophagy and mitochondrial function in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS). I am specifically focused on mitochondria originating danger associated molecular patterns that activate innate immune signaling and contribute to MDS pathogenesis.

Major Professor:  Alan List, MD


Chris

The Padron lab studies Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). My project focuses on finding novel drug combinations that could help treat CMML and determining the mechanism that drives synergy in these combinations.

Major Professor: Eric Padron, MD


Niveditha

My research focus lies in unraveling the mechanism of HDAC inhibitors in preventing Osteosarcoma. Also, understanding molecular interactions involved in bone metastatic cancers. I focus on epigenetics, signal transduction, mouse models of cancer metastasis and cancer therapeutics. 

Major Professor: Conor Lynch, PhD


Nicholas

My research focus involves utilizing biostatistics and informatics to drive wet lab experiments with translational impact.  My current project involves understanding the crossroad between metabolism and immune surveillance and how personalized medicine in lung cancer could improve the efficacy of immunotherapy. 

Major Professor: Doug Cress, PhD


Sweta

My research focuses on understanding the effects of stress hormones in ovarian cancer initiation. 

Major Professor:  Alvaro Monteiro, PhD


AlyciaAlycia

My project focuses on the role of intratumoral dendritic cells in the anti-tumor immune response to solid tumors treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. 

Major Professor:  Brian Ruffell, PhD


January

My research focus involves investigating the role of  HDAC8 in the survival of B-Cell Lymphomas and to determine the mechanism of how HDAC8 regulates Natural Killer Cell antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity.

Major Professor:  Ken Wright, PhD


MacLean

My interests are in T cell immunotherapy for solid malignancies. In particular, I’m focused on improving adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) through manipulation of basic T cell biology.

Major Professor:  Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD


NeelNeel

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying melanoma development and metastasis. I focus on signal transduction and development of mouse models to understand melanomagenesis.

Major Professor:  Florian Karreth, PhD


Bina

Emerging evidence shows that cancer associated fibroblasts can provide a strong protection against targeted therapies. However, how this protection impacts the ultimate clinical relapse remains unclear. My thesis work aims at resolving this puzzle! 

Major Professor:   Andriy Marusyk, PhD


Sae Bom

My research focuses on exploring chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T- cell therapy to treat cancers. I focus on understanding of signal transduction triggered by CAR to ultimately design the efficient receptors with increased persistence and decreased exhaustion in in vivo models of cancer.

Major Professor:   Marco Davila, MD, PhD


Rebecca

My research focuses on T cell immunology and how to overcome restrictions in the tumor microenvironment. Specifically, I focus on intrinsic signaling that controls metabolic pathways in activated T cells and the consequences of having these metabolic pathways shut off.

Major Professor:   Pearlie K. Burnette, PharmD, PhD


Afua 

My research focuses on understanding the role of E3 ubiquitous liagse substrate recruiters in hematopoiesis in the bone marrow using both mouse models and small-molecules drugs. Targeting such proteins have high therapeutic outcomes in hematological malignancies but have been poring characterized. Fully understanding such molecular mechanisms will lead to the identification of better therapeutic approaches and contribute to our knowledge of factors that govern hematopoietic cell fate.

Major Professor:  Pearlie K. Burnette, PharmD, PhD


Fan  

I focus on understanding the regulation of p53 by its N terminus domains. Using a newly developed proteolytic fragment release assay, I study the interactions between N terminus and DNA binding domain of p53. The ultimate goal is to manipulate the interactions for cancer therapeutic applications.

Major Professor: Jiandong Chen, PhD


PayalPayal

My research focuses on the role of long non-coding RNAs in tumor progression, specifically in Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). We are trying to determine the effect of these lncRNAs before and after modulation of TAP63 (tumor suppressive isoform of P63 gene), in presence of KRAS mutation, on immune regulation.

Major Professor:  Elsa Flores, PhD


Daniel

Our lab investigates how post-translational modification of proteins with the plant sugar L-fucose (a.k.a., fucosylation) affects cancer biology.  My research focuses on how fucosylation in melanomas affects their interactions with immune cells.

Major Professor:  Eric Lau, PhD


Bruna

Research Interests:  Cancer Biology, Immunology, Translational Research

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Nolan 

Research Interests:  TIL’S, CD19, CAR T-CELL therapy, CTLA-4 Immunotherapy

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations 


Bryce

Research Interests:  cancer research in cellular and structural biology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Julia

Research Interests: Immunology, T Cell Biology, MPN’s

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Max

Research Interests:  Mathematical Oncology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Shiun

Research Interests:  Immunology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Qianqian

Research Interests:  Drug Discovery

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Jessica

Research Interests:  Immuno-oncology, PI3K/Akt/NrP2 ARE, CAR T cells

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Rafael

Research Interests: Mathematical Oncology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations