Pelotonia Fellowship Symposium

The sharing of ideas and the development of collaborations are two cornerstones of the Pelotonia Fellowship Program. To this end, a yearly scientific symposium brings together awardees, their mentors, world class scientists and leaders from the community.

2015 Symposium

The 2015 Pelotonia Fellowship Symposium took place on Tuesday, November 19. The sympoisum featured the work of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellows whose work was supported by funds raised through Pelotonia. The symposium also featured world-renowed speakers.

2015 Featured Scientists

Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, DSc (Hon)
Professor Emeritus, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
David A. Wood Distinguished Professorship of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research
TOPIC: New approaches to targeting K-Ras

Brenda Schulman, PhD
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Joseph Simone Chair in Basic Research
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
TOPIC: Twists & Turns in Ubiquitin Transfer Cascades

Philip Tsichlis, MD
Jane F Desforges Professor of Medicine
Tufts University

2015 Featured Pelotonia Fellows

Paula Agudelo-Garcia
: The Role of HAT1 in Protein Acetylation and Mitochondrial Function

Will Cantara, PhD
: Structural Characterization of Retroviral Genomes

Andrea Holderbaum
: Cooperation of NRASQ61R and ultra-violet light in the etiology of malignant melanoma

Chris Lucas, PhD
: Daunorubicin-Loaded DNA Origami Nanostructures Circumvent Drug Resistance Mechanisms in a Leukemia Model

Sophia Maharry
: Dissection of the major hematopoietic quantitative trait locus in chromosome 6q23.3 identifies miR-3662 as a novel player in hematopoiesis

Brian Maxwell, PhD
: Investigation of the pathway regulated by E4 ubiquitin chain elongation and its role in VCP-mediated neurodegenerative disorders

Dongju Park
: Ablation of the BRCA1-PALB2 interaction phenocopies Fanconi Anemia

Steven Scoville
: Identification of a common human innate lymphoid cell progenitor in secondary lymphoid tissues

Gina Sizemore, PhD
: PDGFRβ signaling in the tumor microenvironment of metastatic breast cancer

Amit Srivastava, PhD
: Enhanced expression of DNA polymerase eta contributes to cisplatin resistance of ovarian cancer stem cells

Yihua Zhu
TOPIC: Novel roles of an Unc-13/Munc13 family protein in fission yeast cytokinesis 

Previous Invited External Speakers


Carlos Arteaga, MD
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
: PI3K Pathway in Breast Cancer: Role in Tumor Progression and as a Therapeutic Target 

Guillermina (Gigi) Lozano, PhD
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
: Dissecting the p53 Pathway in Vivo

David Beach, PhD, FRS
Blizard Institute
: The Cell Cycle and Cancer: Back to the Future


Jon Aster, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
TOPIC: Targeting Notch in Cancer: Challenges and Opportunities

Stephen Elledge, PhD
Harvard Medical School
TOPIC: Genetic Approaches to Cancer

Michele Pagano, MD, PhD
New York University School of Medicine
TOPIC: Ubiquitin Ligases Regulate Modular Elements of Molecular Machines


David E. Fisher, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
TOPIC: Signaling pathways in melanocytes and melanoma development

Martine F. Roussel, PhD
Member, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Faculty
TOPIC: Molecular networks and cell of origin of pediatric medulloblastoma

Charles J. Sherr, MD, PhD
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
TOPIC: The INK4-ARF tumor suppressor: regulation of cellular self-renewal


Judith Campisi, PhD
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
TOPIC: Cancer and Aging: Rival Demons?”

Ross Levine, MD
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
TOPIC: Role of Mutations in Epigenetic Modifiers in Myeloid Malignancies

John H. J. Petrini, PhD
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
TOPIC: Genetic Analysis of Chromosome Break Metabolism

Previous Invited Pelotonia Fellows


Adrienne Dorrance, PhD
TOPIC: Targeting Leukemia Stem Cells with AntagomiR-126 Nanoparticles in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Markus Harrigan
TOPIC: A Genome-wide RNAi Screen for Novel Stromal-derived Oncogenic Signals in the Tumor Microenvironment

Samantha King
TOPIC: Soy Isoflavones and Metabolites as Immunomodulators for Cancer

Ta-Ming Liu, PhD 
TOPIC: Administration of Kinase Targeting Therapies in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: The Pre-Clinical Development of OSU-T315

Jason Pitaressi 
TOPIC: Genetic Ablation of Smoothened in Tumor Associated Fibroblasts Promotes Pancreatic Cancer Initiation

Mark Rudolph 
TOPIC: Combined Targeting of EGFR and Hedgehog Signaliing Pathway to Overcome Endocrine Resistance

Lawrence Shirley, MD 
TOPIC: Integrin-Linked Kinase Overexpression in the Dysregulated Stroma of Pancreatic Cancer and the Impact on Patient Survival

Andrew Stiff 
TOPIC: HDACi Increase the Anti-Myeloma Activity of Reolysin Through the Up-Regulation of the Reovirus Receptor JAM-1

Ramon Sun, PhD
TOPIC: Glutamine Metabolism is Required for Cell Proliferation in Hypoxia and Growth of Model Tumors

Jingyan Wu
TOPIC: Genome-Wide Screen Identifies Pathways That Govern tRNA Splicing and Intron Turnover in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae 


Dinesh Ahirwar, PhD
TOPIC: Recombinant Slit2 protein inhibits breast cancer growth by inhibiting macrophages

Kyle Beckwith
TOPIC: A novel mouse model of human CD37-positive leukemia highlights the therapeutic potential of IMGN529

Ed Briercheck, PhD
TOPIC: Maximum natural killer cell cytolytic activity  requires optimum PTEN expression

Cai Chen
TOPIC: Transcriptome-wide RNA editing can be used in cancer subtype discrimination

Aishwarya Jacob
TOPIC: MDM2-ALT1: dual role as a suppressor and a driver of oncogenesis

Ben Hemmelgarn
TOPIC: Dissecting the Intersection Between the Rb/E2F and Myc Pathways in vivo

Nikola Kovinich, PhD
TOPIC: New Frontiers in the Chemical Arsenal Against Cancer: Combining Modules of Semi-Synthesis and Synthetic Biology

I-Ju Lee
TOPIC: Regulation of SPB assembly and cytokinesis by the centrin-binding protein Sfi1 in fission yeast

Kinshuk Mitra
TOPIC: Towards a more perfect separation: Leveraging microfluidics for marker capture and characterization

Ryan Reyes
TOPIC: miR-23a: A Key Metabolic Regulator in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Rachel Zielinski
TOPIC: Targeting Cellular Biomechanics to Modulate Cancer Cell Motility and Tumor Morphogenesis


Christina Austin
TOPIC: Essential Roles and Functional Redundancy of EGFR Ligands in Drosophila Development

Kyle Beckwith
TOPIC: Human CD37 mouse models for evaluation of targeted therapeutics for B cell malignancies

Hemant Bid, PhD
TOPIC: Targeting the IGF-axis as a strategy to suppress tumor angiogenesis

Ann Kathrin Eisfeld, MD
TOPIC: miR-3151 interplays with its host gene BAALC and independently impacts on outcome of patients with cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia

Nancy Engelmann Moran, PhD
TOPIC: Development of a 13C-enriched lycopene for human metabolic studies and assessment of anti-cancer mechanisms of action

Patrick Grierson
TOPIC: The BLM helicase senses nucleolar stress as a component of an RNA polymerase I-associated complex

Daniel Kiss, PhD
TOPIC: Cytoplasmic mRNA Recapping, P-Bodies, and Capping Inhibited mRNAs

George Koutras
TOPIC: Evaluation of a mucoadhesive fenretinide patch for local intraoral delivery: A strategy to re-introduce fenretinide for oral cancer chemoprevention

Huayang Liu
TOPIC: A Genome-wide RNAi Screen to Identify Novel Regulators of the Tumor Microenvironment

James Phelan
TOPIC: Growth factor independence 1 (Gfi1) antagonizes a p53-induced DNA damage response pathway in lymphoblastic leukemia

Kathryn Takamura
TOPIC: Dextran Vesicles: A Versatile Renewable Drug Carrier for Camptothecin Loading and Delivery into Cells

Salene Wu
TOPIC: Anxiety, Worry, and Inflammation in Women with Recurrent Cancer


Enrico Caserta, PhD
TOPIC: Tumor Suppression Functions of PTEN in Stromal Cells

Hsiao-Ching Chuang
TOPIC: Combining poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors with Energy Restriction-Mimetic Agents (ERMAs) as a novel therapeutic approach for triple-negative breast cancer

Nripesh Dhungel
TOPIC: tRNA splicing endonuclease: Investigating novel functions

Jonathan Lee
TOPIC: A Genome-Wide Screening of Drosophila melanogaster to Identify Endoreduplication Specific Genes

Dustin Gable
TOPIC: Ets1 as a Potential Target of MicroRNA-1 in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

April Gocha
TOPIC: BRCA1 Interactions with RecQ-like Helicases in the Control of Telomere Maintenance

Kevin Kauffman
TOPIC: Pulmonary Polymeric Microparticles for the Treatment of Lung Cancer

Jiang Li, PhD
TOPIC: Molecular Mechanism of DNA Repair by (6–4) Photolyase

Parvathi Ranganathan, PhD
TOPIC: Regulation of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease by microRNA-155

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Upcoming Events

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2/8/2016 11:30:00 AM - 2/8/2016 12:30:00 PM

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