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Molecular Oncology News Archive

Molecular Oncology in the News

March 2020

  • New Patent: Gary Reuther, PhD had a patent entitled “Low Dose Combination Therapy for Treatment of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms” granted, in collaboration with Incyte Corporation. (US20190175578)
  • Davis Cancer ArticleNew Publication: Andrew Davis, PhD, alumnus Postdoctoral Fellow in the Flores Lab, published a paper in Cancer Research: TAp63-regulated microRNAs suppress cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma through inhibition of a network of cell cycle genes. Davis AJ, Tsinkevich M, Rodencal J, Abbas HA, Su XH, Gi YJ, Fang B, Rajapakshe K, Coarfa C, Gunaratne PH, Koomen JM, Tsai KY, Flores ER. Cancer Res. 2020 Mar 10: doi: 10.1158/0008–5472.CAN–19–1892. PMID: 32156775.
  • Trainee Milestone: Kyubum Lee, PhD appointed to the T32 Training Program.
  • New Publication: John Koomen, PhD, Proteomics & Metabolomics Scientific Director, worked on metabolomics with Lancia Darville, PhD (Core staff scientist) for an external collaboration between Dr. Cleveland and Ira Tabas’s lab, which produced the following publication (Moffitt authors underlined): Yurdagul A Jr, Subramanian M, Wang X, Crown SB, Ilkayeva OR, Darville L, Kolluru GK, Rymond CC, Gerlach BD, Zheng Z, Kuriakose G, Kevil CG, Koomen JM, Cleveland JL, Muoio DM, Tabas I. Macrophage Metabolism of Apoptotic Cell-Derived Arginine Promotes Continual Efferocytosis and Resolution of Injury. Cell Metab. 2020 Mar 3;31(3):518–533. PMID: 32004476.
  • New Publication: Lixin Wan, PhD, and this lab published a review article was published in Seminars in Cancer Biology: "ITCH as a potential therapeutic target in human cancers." PMID: 32165318.

February 2020

  • Oral presentation winners
    Oral presentation winners Annual Retreat: Fourth Annual Molecular Oncology Departmental Retreat at ZooTampa at Lowry Park.
    • Congratulations to the 2020 Molecular Oncology Annual Departmental Retreat Award Recipients.
    • Oral Presentation Awards: Aziz Aiders, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, M Mann Lab, Fan He, Graduate Student, Chen Lab, Garima Pandey, PhD, Research Scientist, Reuther Lab, Kara Snyder, Graduate Student, Le-Lau Lab
    • Poster presentation winners
      Poster presentation winners Poster presentation awards: Julia Billington, Graduate Student, K Mann Lab, Marco Napoli, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab, Olga Vera Puente, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Karreth Lab, Nicolas Prieto, Research Associate, DeNicola Lab
  • New Grant Award: Jennifer Binning, PhD, and the Teng lab (USF) received the Anna Valentine-Charles Oehler Award for their project entitled, "Molecular mechanisms of innate immune suppression by the HPV oncoprotein E6."
  • New Publication: Marco Napoli, PhD, postdoc in the Flres Lab, published a News & Views in Nature: Loss of p53 protein strikes a nerve to aid tumour growth. Napoli M, Flores ER. Nature. 2020 Feb;578(7795):367–369. doi: 10.1038/d41586–020–00328–6. Napoli Nature ArticlePMID: 32066916 

January 2020

  • Faculty in the Spotlight: Department Chair Elsa R. Flores, PhD, delivered a platform presentation at a Keystone Symposium on Non-coding RNAs.
  • New Publication: Marco Napoli, PhD, postdoc in the Flores Lab, published a review in RNA Biology: The p53 family reaches the final frontier: the variegated regulation of the dark matter of the genome by the p53 family in cancer. Napoli M, Flores ER. RNA Biol. 2020 Jan 7:1–12. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2019.1710054. PMID: 31910062.
  • New Grant Award: Gary Reuther, PhD was awarded a 2019 Miles for Moffitt Milestone Award to fund his lab’s project entitled "Overcoming the inefficacy of ruxolitinib in myeloproliferative neoplasm patients by targeting the SHP2 tyrosine phosphatase."
  • New Grant Award: Mark Alexandrow, PhD was awarded an MPI grant, with Nicholas Lawrence, PhD (Drug Discovery) and Brian Ruffell, PhD (Immunology), funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb project entitled: "Immunological Modulation Through Cereblon Suppression."

December 2019

  • Faculty Chair Elsa Flores, PhD, Faculty Lead Lixin Wan, PhD, and Faculty Co-Lead Karen Mann, PhD present the 2019 Molecular Oncology Research-In-Progress (MO-RIP) Seminar Series Finale Awards and Holiday Luncheon.
    o Suman Govindaraju, PhD (K. Mann Lab) was awarded best presentation by a senior trainee and Junhao Lu, PhD (Chen Lab) was awarded best presentation by a junior trainee during Q4 of the 2019 MO-RIP Seminar Series.
    o Qingling Huang, PhD (Chen Lab) and Junhao Lu, PhD (Chen Lab) received awards for excellence in providing high-quality peer review and evaluation to presenters throughout 2019 MORIP Seminar Series.
    o For the second year in a row, faculty member Mark Alexandrow, PhD was recognized as the most dedicated faculty evaluator during the 2019 MO-RIP Seminar Series.
    o Chang Jiang, PhD (DeNicola Lab) was recognized as the trainee who asked the most questions throughout the 2019 MO-RIP Seminar Series.

Molecular Oncology Department Event
From left, Lixin Wan, Karen Mann, Suman Govindaraju, Junhao Lu, Elsa Flores, Chang Jiang, Qingling Huang and Mark Alexandrow

  • Garima Pandey, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in Gary Reuther’s lab, presented her work and won an Abstract Achievement Award for her presentation on her studies on SHP2 and myeloid neoplasms at the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, the premier meeting in the world for malignant hematology research.
    Garima Pandey
    Garima Pandey at the 2019 ASH meeting.
  • The Reuther lab collaborated with the lab of Dr. Ken Wright at Moffitt on an important study published in the journal Blood highlighting the role of HDAC11 in myeloid neoplasms. In addition to Dr. Gary Reuther, Narmin Amin (research associate in the Reuther lab) is a co-author on the studies.
  • Published a paper in Bio-protocol: Brook S. Nepon-Sixt and Mark G. Alexandrow. 2019. DNAse I Chromatin Accessibility Analysis. Bio-protocol, 9(23): e3444. DOI: 10:21769/BioProtoc.3444.
  • John Lockhart, PhD was appointed as the inaugural postdoctoral fellow to a newly-funded T32 in Cancer Biology and Data Science. Dr. Lockhart holds a B. S. in Biology, an M.S. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and recently earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology. Dr. Flores will serve as his primary mentor. For more information, or to apply to become the next postdoctoral fellow, visit the program website.

November 2019

  • Ana Contreras-Sandoval, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, M. Mann Lab) received a travel award and was invited to present her work entitled “Harnessing Sleeping Beauty transposon mutagenesis to model tumor heterogeneity in melanoma preclinical models” at the Society for Melanoma Research 16th International Congress, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Reuther Lab
    Reuther Lab published paper graphical abstract. Lucia Mazzacurati, PhD, a research scientist in Gary Reuther’s lab, published her work demonstrating the efficacy of targeting PIM kinases in combination with JAK2 inhibition in preclinical models of myeloid neoplasms in Blood Advances (PMID: 31725895). This work supported the initiation of a clinical trial to test the combination of the pan-PIM inhibitor INCB053914 and ruxolitinib (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02587598) which is accruing patients at Moffitt and other locations. In addition to Lucia, other members of Dr. Reuther’s lab who are co-authors on this work include Garima Pandey, PhD (postdoctoral fellow) and Narmin Amin (research associate). This work was chosen as a highlight of the issue by the editor in chief of Blood Advances and was also highlighted on the Blood Advances Twitter feed.
  • Dr. Mann delivers the ACS keynote speech
    Michael Mann delivers the ACS keynote. Faculty member Michael Mann, PhD was selected as an American Cancer Society Funded Moffitt Cancer Center Researcher to deliver a Keynote "Harnessing Genomics for Future Cancer Care" at The New Wave of Cancer Research and Treatment Luncheon hosted by the American Cancer Society and Dr. James J. Vopal, DDS, MD, FACS of the The Breast Care Center of the Treasure Coast.
  • New paper published in Cancer Research: "A versatile ES cellbased melanoma mouse modeling platform." (Karreth Lab)
  • Nicol Mecozzi (Master’s student) joins the Karreth Lab.

October 2019

  • Molecular Oncology faculty and trainees very successful 2019 Cancer Biology and Evolution Symposium. The event was organized by Faculty Member Karen Mann, PhD and Department Admin and CBE Program Coordinator, Kristen Gilpin. Molecular Oncology trainees presented 21 abstracts at this year’s Symposium. Congratulations to the following Molecular Oncology Trainees who received awards for their presentations:
    o Poster Highlights Awardees Lucia Mazzacurati, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Reuther Lab) and Haley Ackerman, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab), Oral Presentation Awardee Marco NapoliPhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab), and Poster Presentation Awardee Suman Govindaraju, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, K. Mann Lab) were presented their respective awards by CBE Symposium Faculty Chairperson Dr. Karen Mann.

Molecular Oncology - Poster Highlights
From left, Marco Napoli and Karen Mann. Lucia Mazzacurati, Haley Ackerman and Karen Mann.

  • Faculty member Doug Cress, PhD was appointed to serve as co-investigator of an Administrative Supplement to Moffitt’s Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA076292: Sellers, PI) continuing efforts to serve as the ‘regional hub’ for strengthening research, training, and outreach capacity for the Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities (CHD) Program for Region 2 (GMaP–2) spanning AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MO, MS, and PR. Specifically, Dr. Cress will support biospecimen resources for the entire GMAP Region 2.
  • Faculty Member Karen Mann, PhD presented a talk at the Gigi Arledge Shaw Conference on Pancreatic Diseases at Columbia University in NYC.
  • Faculty member Karen Mann, PhD presented at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) Annual Scientific Summit in Miami, FL.
  • Jameela Lokhandwala, PhD (Postdoctoral fellow), Angelo Nicolaci (Research Associate), and Sanja Todorovic (Intern) join the Binning Lab.

September 2019

  • Faculty Members Elsa Flores, PhD and Doug Cress, PhD received a Notice of Award for a 1.5 million dollar NCI T32 training Integrated Program in Cancer and Data Science
  • Faculty Member Doug Cress, PhD presented his work at the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Grant Symposium

August 2019

  • New paper published in Nature Communications: "Interplay between c-Src and the APC/C co-activator Cdh1 regulates mammary tumorigenesis.” (Wan Lab)
  • New paper published in FEBS Open Bio "Characterization of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) P848L, an unusual EGFR variant present in lung cancer patients, in a murine Ba/F3 model." (Cress Lab)
  • New paper published in Cancer Research: "MEK inhibition modulates cytokine response to mediate therapeutic efficacy in lung cancer." (Cress Lab)

July 2019

  • Qingliang Li, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Chen Lab) was recognized and awarded best trainee presentation during the 2019 second quarter Department of Molecular Oncology Research-In-Progress Seminar Series (RIP).
  • Faculty member Florian Karreth, PhD presented a seminar at the Anna Spiegel Center of Translational Research at the Medical University Vienna, Austria.
  • Shengyan (Kevin) Xiang, PhD (Research Scientist) and Jon Faughn, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow) join the Alexandrow Lab.
  • Rajanikanth Vangipurapu, PhD (Research Scientist) joins the K Mann Lab.
  • Kazi Aslamuzzaman, PhD (Research Scientist) joins the Flores Lab.
  • Ariana Angarita Medrano (Research Associate) joins the Karreth Lab.

June 2019

  • Faculty member Florian Karreth, PhD presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Frontiers in Molecular Science - RNA Regulatory Networks conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Graduate student Ella Bok published a preprint on BioRxiv: Bok et al., “A versatile ES cell-based melanoma mouse modeling platform.” (Karreth Lab)
  • Faculty members Jennifer Binning, PhD and Michael Mann, PhD presented the 2019 Annual Florida Academic Cancer Center Alliance (FACCA) Research Retreat

May 2019

  • Molecular Oncology faculty Karen Mann, PhD and Michael Mann, PhD together with Philipp Altrock, PhD (Integrated Mathematical Oncology) and Eric Padron, MD (Malignant Hematology) were awarded a Moffitt Cancer Center 2019 Team Science Early Development Award to study latent therapeutic vulnerabilities in myeloid leukemia using integrated animal and mathematical modeling.
  • Marco Napoli, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab) was awarded best trainee presentation during the 2019 first quarter Department of Molecular Oncology Research-In-Progress Seminar Series (RIP).
  • Michael Mann, PhD and Postdoc Fellow Ana M. Contreras-Sandoval, PhD presented their work within Interdisciplinary Spotlight on Disease Models Mini-Symposium at the 77th Annual Society for Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Chicago, IL.
  • Congratulations to Marco Napoli, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab) for being selected as an Oral Presenter Award representing Basic Science Research and to Garima Pandey, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Reuther Lab) for being selected as a Featured Poster Presenter Award representing Basic Science Research at the 2019 Moffitt Scientific Symposium.
  • Molecular Oncology trainees presented 20 abstracts at the 2019 Moffitt Scientific Symposium.

April 2019

  • Molecular Oncology faculty welcome our newest Assistant Member Jennifer Binning, PhD.

March 2019

  • Faculty member Lixin Wan, PhD was named the 2018 Moffitt Junior Faculty of the Year for Basic Science.
  • New paper published in Communications Biology (Nature Press): "Myc-Driven Chromatin Accessibility Regulates Cdc45 Assembly into CMG Helicases.” (Alexandrow Lab)
  • USF undergraduate student Trent Percy, who conducts research in the Cress Lab, won an award for his presentation at the Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology Department Research Conference.

February 2019

  • Faculty member Karen M. Mann, PhD was featured in the Moffitt Cancer Center publication, 2019 Women In Oncology Magazine.
  • Nicholas Gimbrone, Graduate Student in the Cress Lab successfully defends his doctoral dissertation. Congratulations Dr. Gimbrone.
  • Third Annual Molecular Oncology Departmental Retreat at ZooTampa at Lowry Park.
  • Congratulations to the 2019 Molecular Oncology Annual Departmental Retreat award winners:
            • Oral presentation awards:
               • Yannis Grammatikis, PhD, Research Scientist, Flores Lab
               • Laura Torrente Fernandez, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, DeNicola Lab
               • Suman Govindaraju, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, K Mann Lab
               • Daniel Lester, Graduate Student, Le-Lau Lab
            • Poster presentation awards:
               • Aziz Aiders, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, M Mann Lab
               • Xiaobo Li, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab
               • Lucia Mazzacurati, PhD, Research Scientist, Reuther Lab
               • Marco Napoli, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab
               • Qing Yin, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Wan Lab
               • Yun Pyo Kang, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, DeNicola Lab

December 2018

  • Drs. Elsa Flores, Michael Mann and Lixin Wan present the 2018 Research-In-Progress Seminar Series Final Wrap up session and Holiday Luncheon.
  • Andrew Davis, PhD (Flores Lab) was awarded best presentation by a junior trainee at the Department of Molecular Oncology – Research-In-Progress Seminar Series (RIP).
  • Brook Nepon-Sixt, PhD (Alexandrow Lab) and Yannis Grammatikakis, PhD (Flores Lab) received awards for excellence in providing high-quality peer-review and evaluation to presenters throughout 2018 Research-In-Progress Seminar Series.

October 2018

  • Andrew Davis, PhD was awarded the Helmsley Scholarship to attend the Computational Genomics Course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.
  • Hayley Ackerman, PhD was awarded best presentation by a junior member at the Department of Molecular Oncology – Research In Progress Seminar Series (RIP).
  • Florian Karreth, PhD received a Melanoma Research Foundation Mucosal Melanoma Career Development Award.
  • Karen Mann is awarded the 2018 Skip Viragh Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Career Development Award to study RBFOX2-mediated splicing regulation in pancreatic cancer progression.
  • Michael Mann, PhD was awarded an Moffitt Cancer Center’s American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS-IRG) Program Award.
  • New paper published in Molecular Cancer Research: "TGFß1 Cell Cycle Arrest Is Mediated by Inhibition of MCM Assembly in Rb-deficient Conditions.” (Alexandrow Lab)
  • New grant funded by the James and Esther King Program, State of Florida: "Chemoprevention of Lung Cancer in Former Smokers." (Alexandrow Lab)
  • Brook Nepon-Sixt, PhD (Alexandrow Lab) received award for highest rated Molecular Oncology Research in Progress speaker for senior postdoc category.

September 2018

  • Elsa R. Flores, PhD and Marco Napoli, PhD presented their research at the 8th International p63/p73 Workshop in Frankfurt, Germany. 
  • Garima Pandey, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Reuther lab) was invited to present her work entitled "The Persistent Survival of MPN Cells to JAK2 Inhibition Is Dependent on SHP2 Activity, Which May Provide a Therapeutic Target to Enhance Current Anti-MPN Therapies” at the American Society of Hematology 60th Annual Meeting in December, 2018 in San Diego, CA

July 2018

  • Flores Lab graduate students Ngoc Bui and Andrew Davis successfully defended their PhD dissertations. Congratulations, Drs. Bui and Davis.
  • Gary Reuther, PhD together with Nicholas Lawrence and Ernst Schonbrunn (both in the Drug Discovery Department) were informed that a second year of funding for their Screen to Lead Program grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was awarded.

June 2018

  • Molecular Oncology trainees presented 17 abstracts at the 2018 Cancer Biology and Evolution Symposium. Congratulations to Ngoc Bui, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab) for receiving an oral presentation award and to Nick Gimbrone (Grad Student, Cress Lab), Xiaobo Li, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab), and Andrew Davis, PhD (Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab) for receiving poster presentation awards.
  • An abstract by Nick Gimbrone (Grad Student, Cress lab) was selected for an oral presentation at the upcoming 2018 Lung Cancer SPORE Workshop.
  • Justin Newberg, PhD (labs of Karen Mann, PhD and Michael Mann, PhD) published a paper in Nucleic Acid Research entitled "SB Driver Analysis: A Sleeping Beauty cancer driver analysis framework for identifying and prioritizing experimentally actionable oncogenes and tumor suppressors."
  • Mark Alexandrow, PhD and Nagi Kumar, PhD received a long awaited FL-DOH grant which represents a collaboration between Molecular Oncology and Population Sciences. The teams are also looking forward to positive news on another grant application in the near future.

May 2018

  • Congratulations to Doug Cress, PhD as the recipient of the Researcher Mentor of the Year award at the 2018 Moffitt Scientific Symposium.
  • Molecular Oncology trainees presented 20 abstracts at the 2018 Moffitt Scientific Symposium.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Marco Napoli, PhD (Flores Lab) had his abstract selected for oral presentation at the 2018 Moffitt Scientific Symposium.
  • Florian Karreth, PhD was awarded a 2018 Miles for Moffitt Milestone grant.

April 2018

  • Congratulations to the Molecular Oncology Research In Progress Seminar Series Award winners for first quarter of 2018:
    o Senior Trainee Award to Marco Napoli, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab
    o Junior Trainee Award to Nicholas Gimbrone, Grad Student, Cress Lab

February 2018

  • Congratulations to the Molecular Oncology Annual Departmental Retreat poster and oral presentation award winners
    • Oral presentation award:
       o Qing Yin, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Wan Lab
    • Poster presentation awards:
       o Brook Nepon-Sixt, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Alexandrow Lab
       
    o Ngoc Bui, Grad Student, Flores Lab
       o Xiaobo Li, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, Flores Lab
       o Ioannis Grammatikis, PhD, Research Scientist, Flores Lab
       o Nate Ward, PhD, Postdoc Fellow, DeNicola Lab

December 2017

  • Nick Gimbrone (Cress lab) published a paper in Journal of Thoracic Oncology entitled "Somatic Mutations and Ancestry Markers in Hispanic Lung Cancer Patients." Nick’s paper was highlighted in an Editorial at JTO.

November 2017

  • Melissa Hoffman (Koomen lab) published a paper in the Journal of Proteome Research entitled "Comparison of Quantitative Mass Spectrometry Platforms for Monitoring Kinase ATP Probe Uptake in Lung Cancer."
  • Hussein Abbas (Flores lab) published a chapter in Cancer Research entitled "Distinct TP63 isoform-driven transcriptional signatures predict tumor progression and clinical outcomes."

October 2017

  • Justin Newberg (labs of Karen Mann, PhD and Michael Mann, PhD) published a paper in Nucleic Acid Research entitled "SBCDDB: Sleeping Beauty Cancer Driver Database for gene discovery in mouse models of human cancers." Check out the SBCDDB here.

September 2017

  • Marco Napoli, PhD (Flores lab) published an outlook in Genes & Development entitled "Another case for diet restriction: TAp73-expressing medulloblastomas are stunted by glutamine withdrawal."

August 2017

  • Michael Mann, PhD was awarded a Moffitt Skin Cancer SPORE Career Enhancement Program Grant.
  • Karen Mann, PhD was awarded an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant.
  • Yi Chen (Koomen lab) published a chapter in Methods in Molecular Biology entitled "Multiplexed Liquid Chromatography-Multiple Reaction Monitoring Mass Spectrometry Quantification of Cancer Signaling Proteins."

July 2017

  • Gary Reuther, PhD together with Nicholas Lawrence and Ernst Schonbrunn (both in the Drug Discovery Department) were awarded a Screen to Lead Program grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

June 2017

  • Justin Newberg, PhD (labs of Karen Mann, PhD and Michael Mann, PhD), Brook Nepon-Sixt, PhD (Alexandrow Lab), Marco Napoli, PhD (Flores Lab), Rahul Checker, PhD (Flores Lab), Ngoc Bui (Flores Lab), and Andrew Davis (Flores Lab) were awarded poster prizes ad the Moffitt Cancer Biology & Evolution Symposium.

May 2017

  • Molecular Oncology participates in Miles for Moffitt to raise funds for research.

April 2017

  • Florian Karreth, PhD was awarded a Young Investigator Award from the Melanoma Research Alliance.
  • Xiaohua Su (Flores lab) published a chapter in Oncogene entitled "TAp63 suppresses mammary tumorigenesis through regulation of the Hippo pathway."

March 2017

  • Paul Stewart (Koomen lab) published a paper in Proteomics entitled "Relative protein quantification and accessible biology in lung tumor proteomes from four LC-MS/MS discovery platforms."
  • Yi Chen (Koomen lab) published a chapter in Proteomics entitled "Quantitative proteomics of breast tumors: Tissue quality assessment to clinical biomarkers."

February 2017

January 2017

  • Marco Napoli, PhD (Flores lab) published a review in the British Journal of Cancer entitled "The p53 family orchestrates the regulation of metabolism: physiological regulation and implications for cancer therapy."