Honors & Awards

  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Stanford University (2018-2021)
  • Leave Term Grant (Kaminsky Academic Enrichment Award), Dartmouth College (2017)
  • William H. Neukom 1964 Scholar, Neukom Institute, Dartmouth College (2017)
  • James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar, Dartmouth College (2016)
  • Sophomore Science Scholar (Bingham Undergraduate Research Award), Dartmouth College (2016)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Associate Member, Sigma Xi (2018 - Present)
  • Student Member, American Association for Cancer Research (2018 - Present)
  • Student Member, Society for Neuro-Oncology (2018 - Present)

Membership Organizations

Education & Certifications

  • B.A., Dartmouth College, Biology (High Honors) (2018)


All Publications

  • Characterizing the heterogeneity in 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced fluorescence in glioblastoma. Journal of neurosurgery Almiron Bonnin, D. A., Havrda, M. C., Lee, M. C., Evans, L., Ran, C., Qian, D. C., Harrington, L. X., Valdes, P. A., Cheng, C., Amos, C. I., Harris, B. T., Paulsen, K. D., Roberts, D. W., Israel, M. A. 2019: 1–9


    OBJECTIVE5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) fluorescence is an effective surgical adjunct for the intraoperative identification of tumor tissue during resection of high-grade gliomas. The use of 5-ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence in glioblastoma (GBM) has been shown to double the extent of gross-total resection and 6-month progression-free survival. The heterogeneity of 5-ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence observed during surgery presents a technical and diagnostic challenge when utilizing this tool intraoperatively. While some regions show bright fluorescence after 5-ALA administration, other regions do not, despite that both regions of the tumor may be histopathologically indistinguishable. The authors examined the biological basis of this heterogeneity using computational methods.METHODSThe authors collected both fluorescent and nonfluorescent GBM specimens from a total of 14 patients undergoing surgery and examined their gene expression profiles.RESULTSIn this study, the authors found that the gene expression patterns characterizing fluorescent and nonfluorescent GBM surgical specimens were profoundly different and were associated with distinct cellular functions and different biological pathways. Nonfluorescent tumor tissue tended to resemble the neural subtype of GBM; meanwhile, fluorescent tumor tissue did not exhibit a prominent pattern corresponding to known subtypes of GBM. Consistent with this observation, neural GBM samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas database exhibited a significantly lower fluorescence score than nonneural GBM samples as determined by a fluorescence gene signature developed by the authors.CONCLUSIONSThese results provide a greater understanding regarding the biological basis of differential fluorescence observed intraoperatively and can provide a basis to identify novel strategies to maximize the effectiveness of fluorescence agents.

    View details for DOI 10.3171/2019.2.JNS183128

    View details for PubMedID 31125970

  • Secretion-mediated STAT3 activation promotes self-renewal of glioma stem-like cells during hypoxia ONCOGENE Bonnin, D., Havrda, M. C., Lee, M. C., Liu, H., Zhang, Z., Nguyen, L. N., Harrington, L. X., Hassanpour, S., Cheng, C., Israel, M. A. 2018; 37 (8): 1107–18


    High-grade gliomas (HGGs) include the most common and the most aggressive primary brain tumor of adults and children. Despite multimodality treatment, most high-grade gliomas eventually recur and are ultimately incurable. Several studies suggest that the initiation, progression, and recurrence of gliomas are driven, at least partly, by cancer stem-like cells. A defining characteristic of these cancer stem-like cells is their capacity to self-renew. We have identified a hypoxia-induced pathway that utilizes the Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1α (HIF-1α) transcription factor and the JAK1/2-STAT3 (Janus Kinase 1/2 - Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) axis to enhance the self-renewal of glioma stem-like cells. Hypoxia is a commonly found pathologic feature of HGGs. Under hypoxic conditions, HIF-1α levels are greatly increased in glioma stem-like cells. Increased HIF-1α activates the JAK1/2-STAT3 axis and enhances tumor stem-like cell self-renewal. Our data further demonstrate the importance of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) secretion for this pathway of hypoxia-mediated self-renewal. Brefeldin A and EHT-1864, agents that significantly inhibit VEGF secretion, decreased stem cell self-renewal, inhibited tumor growth, and increased the survival of mice allografted with S100β-v-erbB/p53-/- glioma stem-like cells. These agents also inhibit the expression of a hypoxia gene expression signature that is associated with decreased survival of HGG patients. These findings suggest that targeting the secretion of extracellular, autocrine/paracrine mediators of glioma stem-like cell self-renewal could potentially contribute to the treatment of HGGs.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/onc.2017.404

    View details for Web of Science ID 000425905700013

    View details for PubMedID 29155422

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5851110