SCI Fellowship Awards

Eunji Choi, PhD

Eunji Choi, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Summer Han’s laboratory in the Quantitative Sciences Unit at Stanford University School of Medicine. As a cancer epidemiologist with diverse training in economics, health policy evaluation, and statistics, Dr. Choi’s ultimate career goal is getting a faculty position at a research-intensive cancer institution. She first became interested in microeconomic analysis and economic policy as an undergraduate. Dr. Choi pursued her PhD in public health at the National Cancer Center of South Korea, where she was able to use her economic policy evaluation skills to assess cancer policy performance and develop fundamental epidemiologic methods and national-level big data analysis. Since coming to Stanford as a postdoctoral scholar in Feb 2020, Dr. Choi has led research in various aspects of managing second primary lung cancer among lung cancer survivors and has taken full advantage of the methodologically rigorous environment at Dr. Han’s laboratory. To become an independent cancer researcher, Dr. Choi is dedicated to acquiring innovative research skills and obtaining funds.

Nicholas H. Juul, MD

Nicholas H. Juul, MD, is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Tushar Desai’s laboratory in the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Juul’s research is focused on using “’omics” and translational assays of primary human tissue to examine mechanisms of lung tumor growth. He has made novel and exciting observations surrounding how the cell of origin of cancer impacts the behavior of the resulting tumor, developing a model of lepidic lung adenocarcinoma in the mouse and discovering evidence that demonstrates the clinical relevance of this model in human lung adenocarcinoma. Dr. Juul has discovered that the Kras and Braf oncogenes can cause a terminally differentiated cell to take on the phenotype of its stem cell en route to tumorigenesis. His observations regarding Wnt in both this murine model and in spheroid assays of primary lung adenocarcinoma have established exciting avenues for further research into the role of Wnt signaling in tumor biology.

Kekoa Taparra, MD, PhD

Kekoa Taparra, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist trainee and resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Taparra trained under the mentorship of Dr. Phuoc Tran MD, PhD, at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on molecular mechanisms of cancer driven by sugar metabolism and epithelial plasticity transcriptional programs. As the first Native Hawaiian physician-scientist, he has personally seen how underrecognized Pacific Islander health disparities are in the US. Dr. Taparra has demonstrated an incredible passion for his Pacific Islander communities and continues his mission toward health equity through cancer research. His goal is to become an independent physician-scientist and lead a research team that focuses on health equity, particularly among Pacific Islanders.

Shannon M. White, PhD

Shannon M. White, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Snyder’s laboratory in the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. White received her PhD in Tumor Biology from Georgetown University, where she gained extensive experience in molecular signaling, cancer biology, and epigenetics. Dr. White has a passion for studying epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in cancer. Throughout her research career in cancer biology, she has trained in a spectrum of disciplines ranging from protein signaling to metabolomics to epigenetics and led both mechanistic and computational-driven projects. Dr. White aspires to become an independent investigator and wants to focus on using 3D cultures of tumor samples to identify the myriad of diverse molecular mechanisms that drive drug resistance and cancer progression and investigate new therapeutic strategies based on these findings.