IU Simon Cancer Center announces winners from its annual Cancer Research Day


INDIANAPOLIS -- (May 6, 2010) -- During its annual Cancer Research Day held yesterday, the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center awarded cash prizes to participants for best poster abstracts.

Cash awards were presented for best posters by graduate students, post-doctoral/medical fellows, research technicians, and clinical nurses in three categories: basic science, translational/clinical, and population science/epidemiology. More than 120 posters were submitted. A review board evaluated all of the submissions.

The IU Simon Cancer Center’s Cancer Research Day is an annual event that aims to increase understanding and awareness of IU Simon Cancer Center research endeavors and encourage collaboration with other cancer research institutions in Indiana. Students, fellows, and faculty conducting cancer research at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana University-Bloomington, Purdue University, and the Walther Cancer Research Center at the University of Notre Dame are eligible to participate. 

“It’s gratifying to see so many people, especially young people, focus their talents on cancer research,” Harikrishna Nakshatri, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., associate director for education at the IU Simon Cancer Center, said. “We congratulate the winners, but also commend everyone who participated. All of the participants have the potential to help researchers unlock the mysteries of cancer.”

The following received awards in the following categories:

Basic science; graduate student


First: William Ranahan, “The Role of AMOT in Breast Cancer Progression”


Second: Justin Babcock, “Targeting mTOR-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress: A Rational Treatment for Sporadic AML/LAM?”


Third: Reem Malek, “Cross-Talk between Mdm2 and Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Cerebellar Development and Medulloblastoma”


Honorable mention: Xi Rao and Jennifer Bailey


Basic science; post-doc/medical fellow


First: Hitesh Appaiah, “Selective Upregulation of U6 RNA in the Serum of Breast Cancer Patients”


Second: Peilin Ma, “Role of Intracellular Tyrosine Residues in Oncogenic Kit-Induced Transformation”


Third: Min Zhang, “SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Complexes are Critical for GI Smooth Muscle Development and Differentiation”


Honorable mention: O.D. Cano and Jiabin Tang


Transitional/clinical research; graduate student


First: Milan Radovich, “Next Generation Whole Transcriptome Sequencing in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Normal Tissues”


Second: Jonathan Hoggatt, “Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) Expand Hematopoietic Progenitors and Alter Bone Marrow Niche:  A Novel Pharmaceutical Approach to Enhance Hematopoietic Mobilization and Transplantation”


Transitional/clinical research; post-doc/medical fellow


First: Kenneth Berman, “Incidence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Individuals with Cirrhosis after an Initial Negative Screening CT Scan of the Liver”


Second: Rutika Mehta, “FOXA1 is an Independent Prognostic Marker for ER-Positive Breast Cancer”


Third: Raghuveer Mali, “Evidence for Rock as Potential Therapeutic Target for Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies Involving Oncogenic C-Kit, FLT3 and BCR-ABL”


Basic science, population science/epidemiology; graduate student/post-doc/medical fellow


First: Esther Smith-Howell, “Exploring the Role of Cancer Fatalism as a Barrier to Colorectal Cancer Screening”


Basic science, translational/clinical, population science/epidemiology; clinical research technician


First: Kristina Hertzler, “Autocrine Signaling Required for PTEN Skin Tumor”