Postdoctoral Candidate Pelotonia Fellowship Program


The Pelotonia Postdoctoral Candidate Fellowship Program provides two-year research fellowships to the most promising postdoctoral candidates who want to help cure cancer. Cancer is a complex disease, and curing it will take a multidisciplinary effort. So no matter what their field of study, from the traditional science fields to fields such as history, business and computer science, all postdoctoral candidates may apply.

Postdoctoral researchers are at a critical point in their careers. They are generally able to work on their own independent research projects, and they have experience presenting their work and publishing their results in research journals. But many postdoctoral researchers lack the skills and funding necessary to become truly independent researchers.

The Pelotonia Postdoctoral Fellowship Program funds postdoctoral fellows at this critical time in their careers. An emphasis of this program is on funding postdoctoral fellows who have recently received their PhDs. Postdoctoral fellows have been recruited from around the world to come to Ohio State to advance their careers and work on cancer research projects.

To date, 97 postdoctoral fellows have been funded (view previous postdoctoral fellows). These students come from very diverse backgrounds, from Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine to Mechanical Engineering and Psychology, and they are working on diverse projects, from studying how a cancer-causing virus affects human cells, to understanding why specific cancer-causing genetic mutations lead to cancer 100 percent of the time while other mutations lead to cancer only in a proportion of cases.

Competition for Pelotonia Postdoctoral Fellowships is fierce. Each year approximately 70 postdoctoral applications are submitted. Each application is critically reviewed by members of the Pelotonia Fellowship Committee. Because of the prestigious nature of these awards, many postdoctoral awardees have reported that receiving a Pelotonia Fellowship has distinguished them from their peers and they have moved on to faculty positions or prestigious positions in industry.

Postdoctoral fellowships pay a competitive annual stipend based on NIH guidelines.

Eligibility

Postdoctoral Fellowship Guidelines


2018 Postdoctoral Candidate Pelotonia Fellows

Kirti Kaul

Kirti Kaul

Mentor – Ramesh Ganju



Project – Immune Therapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer



Summary – Study the role the immune cells play in regulating and slowing metastatic cancer growth. Specifically, whether a protein called Slit2, which is naturally expressed in healthy individuals but suppressed in breast cancer patients, exerts antitumor activity by altering cell energy production and use.



Larissa Valle Guilhen Longo

Larissa Valle Guilhen Longo

Mentor – Jian-Qiu Wu



Project – Understanding New Aspects of Cancer Cellular Division



Summary – Study the cellular division process to provide insight into mechanisms of human cellular division. This knowledge is expected to add to the overall understanding of specific cellular mechanisms involved in cancer development.



Christoph Weigel

Christoph Weigel

Mentor – Christopher Oakes



Project – Epigenetic Changes in Blood Cancer



Summary – Develop a new blood cancer model based on isolated cells from healthy donors to study epigenetic changes in cells and the role these changes play in both cancer development and progression. The goal is to identify new ways to use specific tumor characteristics to detect and treat blood cancer in the future.



Megan Zavorka Thomas

Megan Zavorka Thomas

Mentor – Sharyn Baker



Project – Understanding Drug Resistance in Acute Myeloid Leukemia



Summary – Study differences in cellular proteins after chemotherapy treatment in an effort to understand why certain AML patients develop recurrent disease and to identify new molecular targets for better drug therapy in AML.




2017 Postdoctoral Candidate Pelotonia Fellows

Yuntao Bai

Yuntao Bai

Mentors – Navjot Pabla and Alex Sparreboom



Project – The Role of Aquaporins in Cisplatin Transport in Normal and Cancer Cells



Summary – Learn if aquaporins, the water channel proteins, can transport the anticancer drug cisplatin in normal kidney cells and cancer cells. This may provide insight into how to manage the drug toxicity and, in the meanwhile, increase its efficacy in patients.



2017 Pelotonia Participant – Rider: 25 miles



Lindsey Brinton

Lindsey Brinton

Mentors – John Byrd and Rosa Lapalombella



ProjectThe Role of BIRC6 Mutation and Aberrant Expression in Acute Myeloid Leukemia



Summary – Attempt to understand what’s happening to cause cancer at a genetic level, the functional consequences in cell function and how this perturbs the body as a system, in order to develop effective treatments and know which patients they will help.



2017 Pelotonia Participant – Rider



Huizi Chen

Huizi Chen

Mentor – Sameek Roychowdhury



Project – Characterization of Tumor Heterogeneity and Treatment Resistance in Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer



Summary – Characterize tumor heterogeneity in patients with advanced solid tumors harboring driver genomic alterations through rapid research autopsy and whole exome sequencing. Assess whether circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is an accurate surrogate for tumor heterogeneity through targeted sequencing.



2017 Pelotonia Participant – Rider: 100 miles



Chih-Hsing Chou

Chih-Hsing Chou

Mentors – H. Leighton Grimes



Project – Glycogenomic Vulnerabilities in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)



Summary – Combine analyses of glycogenomic (genes regulating glycan/glycolipid biosynthesis) and glycome (post-translational modification) in an AML model. The study is expected to provide proof of principle for the concept that glycosylation and glycoproteins represent unique vulnerabilities in AML disease development and maintenance.



2017 Pelotonia Participant – Rider: 25 miles



Pedro de la Torre Marquez

Pedro de la Torre Marquez

Mentor – Marcos Sotomayor



Project – Resolving the Structural Determinants of Protocadherin-20 Function in Cancer



Summary – Learn more about the design of selective drugs that modulate protein-protein interactions mediated by PCDH20 and that may be involved in chronic BCP.



2017 Pelotonia Participant – Rider: 25 miles



Sara Elgamal

Sara Elgamal

Mentors – Amy Johnson and John Byrd



Project – The role of CLL exosomes in Tumor Mediated Defects in Innate Immunity



Summary – Evaluate how tumor cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia affect their neighboring cells through the release of small extracellular vesicles. These vesicles include molecules and proteins capable of dampening the immune response thus promoting tumor survival.



2017 Pelotonia Participant – Virtual Rider



Sanjay Mishra

Sanjay Mishra

Mentor – Ramesh Ganju



Project – S100A7-mediated cross-talk between adipocytes and triple negative breast cancer



Summary – The aim of this study is to identify S100A7- mediated mechanisms that enhance obesity-induced triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) growth and progression. The completion of this study will help us to develop S100A7 as a novel biomarker and therapeutic target of obese-TNBC patients.



Takehito Shukuya

Takehito Shukuya

Mentor – David Carbone



Project – Investigating extracellular vesicle protein and RNA profiles for biomarkers of response and efficacy in anti PD-1/PD-L1 treated non-small-cell lung cancer



Summary – Perform a direct comparison of RNA and protein in EVs and RNA in plasma from responding and nonresponding patients undergoing single agent PD-1/PD-L1 pathway targeting immunotherapy to define a RNA or protein signature or candidate biomarker for response.



Previous postdoctoral candidate Pelotonia fellows

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Contact

Marie Gibbons

Pelotonia Fellowship Manager


Phone: 614-685-1960
marie.gibbons@osumc.edu

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