2013 Graduate Pelotonia Fellows

Daniel Arango-TamayoDaniel Arango-Tamayo
Graduate Program: Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology
Mentor: Andrea Doseff, PhD
Project: Chemo-preventive mechanisms of newly formulated flavonoid-rich diets in breast cancer
Project Summary: Investigate how compounds of our diet, by interacting with specific human proteins, prevent breast cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. This study will help to improve prevention of cancer through nutrition.
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Subhasree BalakrishnanSubhasree Balakrishnan
Graduate Program: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Mentor: Michael Ostrowski, PhD
Project: Fibroblast Specific Pten Deletion Alters Errb2-Targeted Tumor Initiating Luminal Progenitors Accelerating Breast Tumorigenesis
Project Summary: Learn how mutations in cell types that are found at the sites of tumor, modulate signaling within cancer cells to alter breast cancer progression. This study will provide an insight into critical events involved in cancer growth. This information will help us devise better strategies to combat tumorigenesis. 

Joelle Fenger
Graduate Program: Comparative and Veterinary Medicine
Mentor: William Kisseberth, DVM, MS &  Cheryl London, DVM, PhD
Project: Characterization of miR-9 expression and activation in canine osteosarcoma
Project Summary: Investigate the expression and activation of a small regulatory RNA, miR-9, in osteosarcoma, a common form of bone cancer in children and dogs. These studies will determine how miR-9 alters cell behavior and how this contributes to the aggressive behavior of osteosarcoma. The identification of pathways affected by miR-9 will help to develop new, more effective treatments for both children and dogs affected by this disease.

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Madelyn GerberMadelyn Gerber
Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
Mentor: Amanda Toland, PhD
Project: Identification of AURKA- and PTPRJ- interaction Human Colorectal Cancer Susceptibility Loci
Project Summary: The goal of this project is to identify genes that interact to promote colorectal cancer risk. By understanding how genes can work together to influence risk for colorectal cancer, we can better understand how these cancers arise and develop novel screening tools to predict individuals at increased risk for this disease.

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Adam HinzeyAdam Hinzey
Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
Mentor: Ann Courtney DeVries, PhD
Project:Social Influences on the Breast Cancer Microenvironment
Project Summary: I plan to investigate how social isolation influences the cells within the breast to lead to more aggressive cancer. This may help us understand some of the wide variation in how cancer progresses in patients, and provide new therapeutic options for the treatment of breast cancer.

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Muhtadi IslamMuhtadi Islam
Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
Mentor: Jeffrey Parvin, MD, PhD
Project:Deep Mutagenesis of BRCA1 and Function in DNA Repair
Project Summary: Evaluate the DNA repair function of BRCA1 mutations and their associated cancer risk. This will aid patients with BRCA1 mutations that have unknown cancer association.


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Monica LindgrenMonica Lindgren
Graduate Program: Psychology
Mentor: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD
Project:Depression and Social Support: Implications for Treatment Adherence and Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Survivors
Project Summary: Information on depression, social support, and quality of life will be collected throughout breast cancer treatment for insight into how women with and without past depression adjust to cancer across their disease course.


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Joseph MarquardtJoseph Marquardt
Graduate Program: Molecular Genetics
Mentor: Harold Fisk, PhD
Project:The centrosomal localization of the kinase Mps1 is important for its function throughout the cell cycle
Project Summary: We study a protein called Mps1, an important regulator of different stages of the cell cycle, whose functions ensure the accurate transmission of genetic material to prevent cancer. Mps1 needs to localize to different structures in the cell to carry out its functions. Studying where it locates and at what times during the cell cycle can provide insight into new avenues of cancer prognosis and treatment.

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Brian MaxwellBrian Maxwell
Graduate Program: Biophysics
Mentor: Zucai Suo, PhD
Project:Conformation Dynamics of Polymerase Switching during the Bypass of Mutagenic DNA Lesions
Project Summary: Our DNA is continuously subject to many types of damage, which can lead to mutations if the damage is not properly repaired. The goal of my research is to understand how the molecular motors that copy DNA move and interact with each other when encountering damaged DNA and to better understand how this process may be involved in cancer formation and in resistance to certain types of cancer therapy.

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Mark NelsonMark Nelson
Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: John Lannutti, PhD and Timothy Eubank, PhD
Project:Biomimetic Nanoscale Device for High-throughput Anti-metastatic Drug Screening
Project Summary: Our project seeks to develop and utilize engineered nanoscale tools for studies of tumor cell migration. We plan to examine migration in response to chemical ‘lures’ and immune system cells termed; tumor-associated macrophages (TAMS) that ‘help’ tumor cells migrate. Perfection of these tools may provide improved personalized patient treatment options to prevent cancer cell movement and disease progression throughout the body.

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Komal RambaniKomal Rambani
Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
Mentor: Gustavo Leone, PhD
Project:Identifying stroma-derived oncogenic signals and their potential as novel therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer
Project Summary: Tumors are abnormal tissue growths composed of not only cancer cells but also other cell types known as stromal cells. In pancreatic cancer, stromal cells may represent up to 80% of the cells in the tumor. These neighboring stromal cells that surround the cancer cells support tumor growth and progression of cancer by means of continuous communication among them. However, not much is known about these interactions between tumor and surrounding cells. My project will identify novel genes in neighboring cells at a genome-wide scale that mediate their communication with cancer cells to support tumor initiation, growth and progression. Targeting the novel genes or the pathways in the surrounding stromal cells that support tumor growth will lead to more effective treatment regimens and improved clinical outcome of cancer patients.

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Chaojie WangChaojie Wang
Graduate Program: Biomedical Sciences
Mentor: Matthew Ringel, MD
Project:The role of RCAN1-4 as a tumor metastasis suppressor gene
Project Summary: Investigate how RCAN1-4, a gene identified from Down syndrome patients, functions to suppress tumor progression and metastasis. Discover novel metastatic suppression pathways using mouse models. This study will provide insights into how metastatic cancers could be treated.

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Kang WeiKang Wei
Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Yi Zhao, PhD
Project:Development of an adaptive electro-optofluidic laparoscope with switchable wide-angle two-dimension and three-dimension imaging for intra-abdominal tumor examination and resection
Project Summary: Develop adaptive imaging components of a laparoscope that provide both wide-angle two-dimensional and three-dimensional visualization of the abdominal cavity during minimally invasive surgery. This may help both novice and expert surgeons better identify, evaluate and resect intra-abdominal tumors.
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Jingyan WuJingyan Wu
Graduate Program: Plant Cellular and Molecular Genetics
Mentor: Anita Hopper, PhD
Project:Identification and characterization of novel genes involved in tRNA biogenesis, stability and subcellular movement
Project Summary: Understand how tRNAs, a type of small molecules that play important roles in cancer development, are produced and degraded in the cell and how they move around in the cell. This study will reveal novel genes involved in these processes and will aid in finding potential targets for disrupting tRNA production and trafficking in cancer treatment.

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Helong ZhaoHelong Zhao
Graduate Program: Biomedical Science
Mentor: Ramesh Ganju, PhD
Project:Role of slit-robo in LPS-induced endothelial inflammation and gastric/colorectal cancer angiogenesis and development
Project Summary: This study will analyze how bacteria in the stomach and colon can cause gastric cancer and colorectal cancer by inducing blood vessel inflammation. It will also explain how this cancer-causing event can be regulated by relevant human proteins. ​​​​​

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 460 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: jamesline@osumc.edu