Moffitt Cancer Center Welcomes Five New Research Recruits

December 19, 2018

TAMPA, Fla.  Moffitt Cancer Center welcomed five new research scientists representing a wide range of expertise being recruited to our National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Each will enhance Moffitt’s cutting-edge research and help translate discoveries to improve diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic medicine.

Derek Duckett, Ph.D., is a senior member of the Drug Discovery Department with secondary appointments in the Neuro-Oncology and Breast Oncology departments. His work is aimed at evaluating small molecule kinase inhibitors of biologic and therapeutic interest. In particular, his lab is investigating a novel class of kinase inhibitors that could be used as a treatment target for diseases such as Parkinson’s and cancer.

Protein kinases are important components of signal transduction pathways and deregulation of kinase activity can lead to diseases, such as cancer. It is why kinases have become one of the most important target classes for drug development.

Duckett received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Dundee. Prior to Moffitt, he was at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla.

Patsy McDonald, Ph.D., also joined Moffitt from The Scripps Research Institute. She is now an associate member in the Cancer Physiology Department with a secondary appointment in the Breast Oncology Department. Her research focuses on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a family of cell-surface receptors involved in almost all biological processes and the most successful drug target class in marketed therapeutics. McDonald’s work investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation, trafficking, and activation of GPCRs involved in metabolic disorders and cancer. The information gained from her research can be used to identify new drug targets and develop novel treatment strategies and therapeutics.

McDonald earned her doctorate in Molecular Genetics from Dundee University

Anna Coghill, Ph.D., is a cancer epidemiologist with training in both molecular epidemiology and patient outcomes research. Her overarching research goal is to characterize the role of infections, and the immune response to those infections, in both cancer development and prognosis. She is interested in characterizing how immune responses to Epstein-Barr virus can be translated into cancer prevention and treatment, and further understanding the link between immunosuppression and cancer outcomes.

Prior to joining Moffitt as an assistant member in our Cancer Epidemiology Department, Coghill was a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute’s Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch. She received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington.

Mingxiang Teng, Ph.D., is the newest assistant member of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Department. His research focuses on developing computational methods and tools to address data challenges in functional genomics such as pre-processing, quality controlling, analyzing and integrating next generation sequencing data. He will be collaborating with Moffitt researchers using high-throughput sequencing to study functional genomics of cancer.

Before joining Moffitt, Teng completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He earned his doctorate in computational biology at Harbin Institute of Technology in China.

Adam Mailloux, Ph.D., is an assistant member in the Immunology Department and assistant technical director of Moffitt’s Cell Therapies Core. His research focuses on the design and implementation of novel approaches to boost the effectiveness of anti-cancer immunotherapies. His work has helped develop new methods to isolate and expand how cancer tumors react to T cell therapies, such as tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.

Mailloux received his doctorate in microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He then began his career at Moffitt, completing a postdoctoral fellowship before becoming a faculty member.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 6,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on FacebookTwitter and YouTube

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