UK HealthCare

Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Highlighted at Markey Research Day


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2012) — The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center held its annual Markey Cancer Center Research Day May 16, celebrating the advances of cancer research on the UK campus and giving students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to present their research.  

This year’s event featured 133 posters; three student and postdoctoral fellow oral presentations; and two faculty oral presentations. Awards were presented in two different categories - basic science and clinical science - for both graduate and postdoctoral fellows. A Researcher's Choice Award was also presented, based on a popular vote by people who attended Research Day.

The winners are:

Graduate Basic Science

First place: Alexandra Tsoras
"Development of Three-Dimensional Lung Multicellular Spheroids in Air and Liquid Interface Culture for the Evaluation of Anti-Cancer Therapeutics."

Second place: Sourik Gangult
"c-Abl and Arg are activated in human primary melanomas, promote melanoma cell invasion via distinct pathways, and drive metastatic progression."

Postdoctoral Basic Science

First place: W. Conan Mustain
"An Orthotopic Murine Model of Colon Cancer Using Colonoscopic Submucosal Injection."

Second place: Samantha Meenach
"Characterization and Optimization of Inhalable PEGylated Phospholipid Microparticles and Nanoparticles Containing Paclitaxel for Targeted Dry Powder Pulmonary Delivery."

Graduate Clinical Science

First place: Vrushali Angadi
"Investigating the efficacy of Vocal Function Exercises in adults irradiated for early glottic cancers."

Second place: Eric Durbin
"Automated Coding of Key Cancer Concepts from Text Based Electronic Pathology Reports."

Postdoctoral Clinical Science

First place (tie): Jessica Croley
"Combined everolimus and fulvestrant in metastatic estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer."

First place (tie): Jessica Moss
"A Phase I study of the combination of Azacitidine, Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, and Rituximab in relapsed and refractory lymphoma."

Researcher's Choice Award

Winner: Dan Shu
"Thermodynamically stable RNA three-way junction for constructing multifunctional nanoparticles for delivery of therapeutics."

Markey Research Day also featured the announcement of a $5 million dollar grant from the Evans Foundation supplemented by a $1.25 million donor gift through the Markey Cancer Foundation to fund research into myelodysplasia syndrome (MDS), a deadly blood and bone marrow disease often caused by chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Markey researchers Gary Van Zant, Daret St. Clair and Subbarao Bondada will lead the three labs funded at UK.

Research Day concluded with the State of the Cancer Center Address from Dr. Mark Evers, director of the Markey Cancer Center, and the Susan B. Lester Memorial Lecture from Mina Bissell of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.