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AACR Awards 30 Women in Cancer Research Scholars

March 16, 2012
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CHICAGO — The American Association for Cancer Research is awarding 30 Women in Cancer Research scholars at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31 – April 4.

The annual award provides funding for the participation of early-career members of the AACR’s Women in Cancer Research membership group who are presenting scientific papers at this year’s AACR Annual Meeting. This year’s recipients were chosen following a highly competitive selection process. Scholars are selected on the basis of their qualifications, references from mentors and an estimation of the potential professional benefit to the awardees. There were nearly 250 applicants this year and these recipients truly represent the best and brightest young scientists.

Merck Oncology and the William H. Pruscoff Foundation have provided additional support to fund the participation of these young investigators in this year’s AACR Annual Meeting. The 2012 Women in Cancer Research scholars are:

  • Stacey J. Adam, Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
    Abstract #4879. Distinct roles of p53 and p19ARF in MYC-dependent tumor oncogene addiction;
  • Anna M. Azarova, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.
    Abstract #2935. The ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor Torin2 enhances sensitivity of the ALK F1174L mutation to crizotinib in neuroblastoma;
  • Paloma Bragado, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
    Abstract #5234. Microenvironmental signals dictate disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) fate through regulation of TGFβII and p38α;
  • Andrea N. Burnett-Hartman, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash.
    Abstract #1673. BRAF mutation is associated with large, proximal sessile serrated polyps, but not with adenomas;
  • Zafira Castano, Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
    Abstract #4861. Triple-negative breast cancers establish a systemic environment that drives malignant progression of otherwise indolent disseminated tumors via EGF and IGF;
  • Katherine L. Cook, Ph.D., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
    Abstract #4995. Glucose-regulated protein 78 regulates crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy to determine anti-estrogen responsiveness;
  • Catherine A. Del Vecchio, B.A., Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
    Abstract #10. Oncogenic variant EGFRvIII defines a hierarchy in glioblastoma and expression is restricted by epigenetic mechanisms despite the presence of gene amplification;
  • Lissette Delgado-Cruzata, Ph.D., Columbia University School of Public Health, New York, N.Y.
    Abstract #4482. Effects of lifestyle modification on global DNA methylation in minority breast cancer survivors;
  • Emily M. Fox, Ph.D., Vanderbilt-Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
    Abstract #4825. Inhibition of AKT abrogates resistance to endocrine therapy in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer;
  • Joan T. Garrett, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
    Abstract #3867. Dual blockade of HER2 in HER2-overexpressing tumor cells does not eliminate HER3 function completely: Clinical implications;
  • Xiaolan Guo, M.D., Ph.D., University of Minnesota Hormel Institute, Austin, Minn.
    Abstract #1173. AKT-mTOR pathway mediates mutant p53 gain-of-function by inhibiting autophagy;
  • Karin G. Hermans, Ph.D., University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Abstract #3330. Functional characterization of microRNAs identified in human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells;
  • Christine How, B.S., University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Abstract #2311. MicroRNA-196b regulates HOXB7 in cervical cancer;
  • Andrea L. Kasinski, Ph.D., Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
    Abstract #2950. miR-34 prevents in vivo lung tumor initiation and progression in the therapeutically resistant Kras;p53 mouse model;
  • Kate Lawrenson, Ph.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
    Abstract #2928. Functional effects of SNPs in noncoding RNAs at the 3q25 ovarian cancer susceptibility locus;
  • Vivian S. W. Li, Ph.D., Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Abstract #983. Wnt pathway activation involves inhibition of β-catenin ubiquitination within the endogenous Axin1 complex;
  • Monica Mann, B.S., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
    Abstract #5628. Novel cell permeable peptide inhibitors of PELP1 oncogenic functions;
  • Tapati Mazumdar, Ph.D., The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
    Abstract #898. Hedgehog signaling (HH/Gli) transcriptionally regulates hTERT gene expression in human cancer cells;
  • Ying Ni, M.S., The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
    Abstract #1120. α-Tocopherol protects cells from lipid peroxidation and rescues tumorigenic phenotypes in CS/CSL patients with germline SDHx variants;
  • Mukti Parikh, M.S., Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
    Abstract #3306. A novel reconstructed metastasis (rMet) model to understand the role of breast cancer stem cells in metastasis;
  • Ruth Perets, M.D., Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.
    Abstract #3292. A genetically engineered mouse model for high grade serous “ovarian” carcinoma arising in the fallopian tube;
  • Aparna Rao, M.S., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Abstract #4399. Immunostimulatory effects of HSP90 inhibition: Insights from combinational immunotherapies targeting EphA2;
  • Jaya Sangodkar, B.S., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
    Abstract #1885. Targeting the FOXO1/KLF6 transcriptional network to modulate response to antiEGFR-based therapy;
  • Raphaela Schwentner, M.Sc., Children’s Cancer Research Institute, Vienna, Austria
    Abstract #2198. A functional ETS/E2F module in cancers expressing ETS fusion genes;
  • Bing Song, Ph.D., Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
    Abstract #2050. Plk1 phosphorylation of Orc2 promotes DNA replication under conditions of stress;
  • Maria S. Sosa, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
    Abstract #4262. NR2F1 and SOX9 mediate reprogramming of tumor cells into dormancy: Potential role in dormant bone marrow DTCs;
  • Christina Vorvis, B.S., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.
    Abstract #5335. Identification and molecular characterization of pancreatic tumor-initiating cells;
  • Sarah R. Walker, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.
    Abstract #971. Identification of BCL6 targeted therapies for breast cancer through gene expression networks;
  • Xiaoqi Xie, Ph.D., The Cancer Institute of New Jersey/UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J.
    Abstract #2276. Coordinate autophagy and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibition enhances cell death in melanoma; and
  • Pan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, N.J.
    Abstract #2121. Nonerythroid alpha spectrin prevents telomere fragility after DNA interstrand crosslink damage.
# # #

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About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.  

For more information about the AACR, visit

Media Contact:
Tara Yates
(215) 446-7110
In Chicago, March 31 – April 4:
(312) 528-8206

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