SCI Fellowship Awards

2021 SCI Fellowship Awardees

Dr. Crossley is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Karlene Cimprich, a member of the SCI and the Chemical and Systems Biology Department. Dr. Crossley has a longstanding interest in how RNA and transcription influence the processes that maintain the stability of our genome. Deregulation of these processes leads to increased levels of DNA damage and genome instability, which are hallmarks of cancer. Increasingly, genome instability is also recognized as a vulnerability of cancer cells that can be exploited therapeutically. It is therefore critical to have a deep mechanistic understanding of how genome instability arises in cells, which has been a strong motivation in Dr. Crossley’s research.

Dr. Lo is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Calvin Kuo’s laboratory. Dr. Lo is interested to understand the control of gastrointestinal and cancer stem cell biology, especially how critical intrinsic genetic mutations and extrinsic extracellular components within the microenvironment influence cell behaviors. Stem cells of the gastrointestinal tract give rise to the surface lining of the epithelium and must continuously produce new cells to replace those shed into the lumen throughout the lifespan. When mutations accumulate in these stem cells, they can grow uncontrollably into benign polyps or malignant tumors. Dr. Lo has focused his efforts on establishing next-generation CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tools and applying them to gain insight into how different signaling pathways can contribute to gastrointestinal stem cell activity and tumorigenesis.

Dr. Soji is a radiation oncology resident who studies the mechanisms underlying natural killer (NK) cell exclusion in solid tumors. He is interested in increasing the therapeutic index of radiation therapy using small molecules and biological agents. This interest started during his undergraduate studies, where he focused on the targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic agents using tamoxifen. He subsequently enrolled in a medical scientist training program and completed his doctoral thesis in medicinal chemistry, where he designed, synthesized, characterized and tested novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors which are known to radiosensitize tumors. Currently, he is investigating the role of the innate immune system in cancer, particularly the mechanism of NK cell migration in the tumor microenvironment, under the mentorship of Quynh Le, MD. Dr. Sodji intends to continue onward in this novel area of research in radiation oncology and cancer biology as a physician-scientist.

 

Dr. Tang’s research career has been focused on translating advanced biomedical knowledge into therapeutic strategies. Through his postdoctoral training in Dr. Monte Winslow’s laboratory, Dr. Tang has acquired a unique set of skills that will allow him to apply molecular, cellular biology and mouse models to study human cancer. Metastasis is a major clinical challenge driven by poorly understood cell state alterations. By incorporating increasingly quantitative methods and powerful in vivo methods, Dr. Tang intends to uncover general rules that govern tumor progression and metastatic spread and discover novel therapeutic targets across the continuum of cancer progression, including the lethal metastatic stage.

Dr. Vogel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Department of Medicine and is supported by a fellowship award from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. As a social psychologist, Dr. Vogel considers experimental research imperative for understanding health behaviors and empowering individuals to improve their quality of life and reduce their cancer risk. Tobacco use is among the leading causes of cancer worldwide. Dr. Vogel’s current research program aims to understand the influence of social media on young people’s tobacco use and develop digital interventions for tobacco and other substance use. Long-term, she aims to establish an independent academic research career in cancer prevention, using digital tools to address young people’s tobacco use and other addictive behaviors.

The SCI seeks to increase the number of clinical, laboratory, and population researchers, who are carrying out cancer research with applicability to the basic biology, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer, or to the quality of life of cancer patients. This critical source of funding enables trainees to complete their cancer research training while applying for extramural support.

Proposal Submission Deadline: coming soon