Annual Scientific Conference

Cancer Biology Annual Scientific Conference, Nov 2019

Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose

The Annual Scientific Conference provides an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to present their research progress to the faculty and their peers. In addition, the Conference is designed to acquaint new first year graduate students with the Program and to inform them of research opportunities. Faculty members have the opportunity to present at a poster session. Cancer Biology graduate students are required to attend the Conference.  

Location: Dolce Hayes Mansion, 200 Edenvale Avenue, San Jose, CA

Program Starts: Friday, November 15, 2019

Program Ends: Saturday, November 16, 2019


2019 Recipient

Humsa Venkatesh Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Rob Malenka Lab, Stanford University

Humsa Venkatesh received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford University. She is currently completing her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Her research combines principles of neuroscience and cancer biology to understand the electrical components of cancer pathophysiology. Humsa discovered the relationship between the bioelectric activity of neurons and tumor growth and further identified a therapeutic target which, when inhibited, stagnates tumor growth in vivo. She aims to build her career leading the advancement of this novel field by studying the neural regulation of cancer and investigating the specific neural circuits whose aberrant activity contributes to disease progression. Her ultimate goal is to harness these microenvironmental dependencies of tumors for future therapeutic interventions.

2019 Cancer Biology Retreat Winners

Best Talks 

  • Joshua Eggold
  • Emily Hamilton
  • Katie Yost


Best Posters

  • Kelly Marcus
  • Katherine McNamara
  • Ron Shanders

The Denise A. Chan Best Thesis Award in Cancer Biology

2018 Recipient

Dian Yang Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Jonathan Weissman Lab, University of California, San Francisco

Dian Yang grew up in Beijing, China. He started his PhD in the Cancer Biology Program in 2011, working with Dr. Monte Winslow and Dr. Julien Sage. His thesis work focused on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of cancer metastasis, the most lethal phase of cancer progression. Using genetically engineered mouse models of small cell lung cancer, he uncovered widespread chromatin accessibility changes during metastatic progression, which activates a neuronal migration program that promotes cancer metastasis. He also uncovered that the cancer cell of origin has profound impact on metastatic progression. Dian is currently a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF working with Dr. Jonathan Weissman on developing new functional genomic tools to understand tissue homeostasis and cancer development.