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What's New in CPRTP?

Summer 2015 Edition

What's New provides the latest news from the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program (CPRTP). As of 2015, What's New will be published quarterly in the Winter (Jan-Mar), Spring (Apr-Jun), Summer (Jul-Sept) and Fall (Oct-Dec).  Here you will find program updates, upcoming events, trainee accolades, and past events.  For previous editions, access the CPRTP News Archives located on the right rail of this page.  

Program Updates
Upcoming Events
Trainee Accolades
Past Events
    Summer Experience Final Event: Poster Session & ES Competition New!
    Trainee Research Day 2015
    TRD Elevator Speech Competition 2015

Program Updates

CPRTP Summer Program started June 2nd! 20 undergraduate, graduate and health professional students joined the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program for the 2015 CPRTP Summer Program as part of the MD Anderson Summer Experience, from Tuesday, June 2nd through Friday, August 7th.  Through our NCI-funded R25E “Cancer Prevention Education: Student Research Experiences” grant (R25E CA056452), we were able to create this program to bring in students for a 10-week short-term research experience during the summer.

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Past Events

MD Anderson Summer Experience Final Event: Poster Session & Elevator Speech (ES) Competition

The MD Anderson Summer Experience concluded with the final poster session and elevator speech competition which took place on Friday, August 7th, from 8am to 11am in CPB 8 Rooms 1 - 8.  Students from the Summer Undergraduate Program and the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program presented posters about their summer research and nine (9) summer students competed in the elevator speech competition.  Two cash prizes were awarded for Best Speech ($200) and People's Choice ($100). View the 2015 MD Anderson SE Elevator Speech competition video. Congratulations to the finalists!

MD Anderson SE Finalists

1. Kayleah Cumpian - Cancer drug-releasing  IUD’s
2. Meghan Haffey - Understanding gut microbiome and hedonic eating
3. Fernanda Gonzalez - Cell polarity and PAR 3 in endometrial cancer
4. LaNisha Patterson - Ward Drug resistance in AML, antioxidants and survival pathways (WINNER: BEST SPEECH)
5. Sonia Paz - Considering statins to prevent or treat obesity-related cancers
6. Adeel Sajid - Hyperpolarized nanoparticles for MRI
7. Ellen Sukharevsky - Classification of bladder cancer cells & drug resistance
8. Sid Venkataraman - Sedentary lifestyles and breast cancer risk (WINNER: PEOPLE'S CHOICE)
9. Rebecca Wiersma - Alarm clock leukemia drug

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Trainee Research Day (TRD) 2015

Congratulations to all 25 competition winners from this year's Trainee Research Day, which took place on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.  Awards ranged from $500 to $1000 and were sponsored by AMGEN, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and the MD Anderson Alumni & Faculty Association Education Fund.Trainee Research Day is an annual event sponsored by the MD Anderson Alumni and Faculty Association. This event is an ideal opportunity for our graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows and graduate medical education fellows and residents to showcase their exciting research in basic science, clinical research, population science and translational research. Our young scientists and clinicians represent the best of the next generation and will continue in Making Cancer History through the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related diseases.

A special congratulations to the following three (3) Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, CPRTP trainees who received  the following awards:

  •  Stephanie Claire Melkonian, PhD (CPRTP R25T Postdoctoral Fellow, Epidemiology, Mentor: Dr. Xifeng Wu), 1st Place Oral Competition Winner - Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Award in Population Science 
  •  Jeanne A. Pierzynski (CPRTP R25T Predoctoral Fellow, Epidemiology, Mentor: Dr. Xifeng Wu), 1st Place Oral Competition Winner - MD Anderson Alumni & Faculty Association Award in Population Science
  •  Menton M. Deweese, PhD (CPRTP R25T Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Science, Mentor: Dr. Francesco Versace), 1st Place Poster Competition Winners - Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Award in Population Science

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TRD Elevator Speech Competition 2015

Nine (9) MD Anderson trainees from various departments competed in this year's Trainee Research Day: 90-second Elevator Speech competition.  Two (2) individuals were awarded cash prizes in the categories of Best Speech and People's Choice (click any hyperlinked name below to view their Elevator Speech video):

  1. Srikanth Appikonda - "SUMO Wrestler" 
  2. Ana Korngold - "The CARS Designer"
  3. Michael La Chapelle - "Remember WeCan!"
  4. Ben LaCount II - "Nanotherapy in our Future"
  5. Tamara Laskowski - 'Immunotherapy: Training your Immune System to Kill Cancer"(WINNER: BEST SPEECH)
  6. John Lattier - "MLC in Brain Cancer"
  7. Rina Mbofung - "Unlock the Power of Immunotherapy"
  8. Derek Moore - "Developing a Melanoma Vaccine"
  9. Felix Nwajei - "T Cell Movement/Traffic, T Cells in Brain Tumors"(WINNER: PEOPLE'S CHOICE)

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Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, July 16, 2015 - CPRTP Trainee Forum, 4:00 - 5:00pm, Duncan Cancer Prevention Building, CPB 8th Floor, Rooms 7 & 8.
  • Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - CPRTP Summer Exposition (Division of Cancer Prevention): Elevator Speeches, Poster Session & Reception, 9:30am - 11:30am, Mays Clinic, 1st Floor, ACB1.2325.
  • Friday, August 7, 2015 - MD Anderson Research Experience - Final Event: Poster Session, Elevator Speech (ES) Competition & Reception, 8:00am - 11:00am, Duncan Cancer Prevention Building, CPB 8th Floor, Rooms 1 - 8.  Cash prizes will be awarded for Elevator Speeches in the categories of People's Choice and Best Speech. The Elevator Speech competition begins at 10am and is open to all MD Anderson Summer Research Experience students. Read more about this event and how to register for the ES competition!
  • Trainee Brown Bag Seminars:
    • Ashish Deshmukh (Gordon Postdoc Fellow, Health Services Research), Thursday, August 13, 2015, Noon-1pm, CPB 8 Room 4.
    • Calandra Whihtted (R25T Predoc Fellow, Health Disparities Research), Thursday, August 20, 2015, Noon-1pm, ACB1.2325.

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Trainee Accolades

  • Edward Tsai (R25E Spring Graduate Research Assistant, Behavioral Science, Mentor: Dr. Karen Basen-Engquist, 2014), was awarded an NCI R25T Predoctoral Fellowship with the University of Texas School of Public Health Cancer Education and Career Development Program under Dr. Patricia Dolan Mullen, Principal Investigator. 
  • Veronica Ajewole (R25E Spring Graduate Research Assistant, Clinical Cancer Prevention, Mentor: Dr. Guang Peng, 2014), graduated from Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and was awarded a postdoctoral pharmacy residency at Houston Methodist Hospital. 
  • Nicholas Whiting (R25T Postdoctoral Fellow, Odyssey Fellow, Cancer Systems Imaging, Mentor: Dr. Pratip Bhattacharya, 2012-2014), was the recipient of the Trainee Excellence Award 2014-15, for his abstract, Developing Hyperpolarized Silicon Particles for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Applications.
  • Scherezade Mama (R25T Postdoctoral Fellow, Health Disparities Research, Mentor: Dr. Lorna McNeil, 2013-2015), accepted a tenured-faculty Assistant Professor position at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Kinesiology.

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