Annual Scientific Conference

Cancer Biology Annual Scientific Conference, Nov 2021

Fogarty Winery

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: Fogarty Winery

Program Starts: Friday, November 12, 2021

Program Ends: Virtual, Saturday, November 13, 2021


2020 Recipient

Gunsagar Gulati, M.D., Ph.D.

Resident, Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston

Gunsagar S. Gulati received his undergraduate degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology from Harvard College and his MD and PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University in the Weissman and Newman laboratories. He is currently a resident physician in the internal medicine program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and will be short-tracking to fellowship in hematology and oncology. His research has focused on identifying new stem cell populations in normal and cancer tissues and developing computational tools to better understand and treat human tumors. Gunsagar identified new populations of hematopoietic and skeletal stem cells and developed CytoTRACE, a computational approach for predicting the developmental potential of single cells from transcriptional data. He aims to build his career at the intersection of stem cell and cancer biology, developing new approaches for identifying and targeting cancer stem cells. His ultimate goal is to lead an academic research group as a physician scientist who sees cancer patients in the clinic and studies their disease in the laboratory.

2021 Recipient

Kathryn Yost, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Johnathan Weissman Lab, Whitehead Institute, Boston

Katie Yost received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Washington and Lee University and completed her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at Stanford University in the lab of Howard Chang. She is currently a NCI K00 Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Jonathan Weissman at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA. Her research utilizes genomic technologies and functional perturbations to better understand cellular and regulatory dynamics in cancer progression and response to therapy. Katie discovered that the T cell response to PD-1 blockade consists of novel T cell clones not previously observed in the same tumor, a process termed clonal replacement. Further, she found that extrachromosomal DNA clusters in the nucleus of interphase cancer cells to promote intermolecular enhancer-promoter interactions and high levels of oncogene expression. Her long-term goal is to decode the dynamic interactions between cancer and the immune system and to perturb these systems to gain novel insights into the biological processes that underlie cancer progression and therapeutic response.

2021 Cancer Biology Retreat Winners

Best Talks 

  • King Hung
  • Monica Nesselbush
  • Jason Rodencal


Best Posters

  • Fernanda Gonzalez
  • Lindsey Mehl
  • Kiarash Shamardani
  • Alan Tung

The Denise A. Chan Best Thesis Award in Cancer Biology

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.