Cancer Biology Track

Cancer Biology Track News & Announcements

2016 Graduate Student Research Forum

The 2016 Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Research Forum was held on the University of Toledo Health Science Campus on March 17-18, 2016.  The event is organized annually by the Council of Biomedical Graduate Students of the UT Health Science Campus where the students are given the opportunity to present and discuss their work with fellow students and faculty.  The keynote address entitled "Bioengineered Technologies for Rapid Disease Diagnosis and Stem Cell Therapy" was presented by Weian Zhao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Edwards Life Sciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, Irvine. Kudos to Biochemistry & Cancer Biology students for placing at the 2016 Graduate Student Research

kd Kaitlyn Dvorak, PhD candidate Eisenmann lab - 1st place oral presentation

"The tumor microenvironment drives tumor progression through an mDia2-mediated mechanism"



zh Zehui Li, PhD candidate Maltese lab - 3rd place oral presentation               

"MOPIPP and Vacuolin-1 induce vacuolization and enhance the release of exosomes from GBM cells"



nc Nicholas Cairl, MSBS Smas lab - 4th place poster presentation               

"Revealing the structural basis for RIFL's effects on Angpt1 proteins in lipid metabolism"




Cancer Biology Students Receive Travel Awards

Congratulations to Cancer Biology students, Shweta Aras and Archit Trivedi, recipients of two travels awards to the 2014 International Pigment Cell Conference to be held in Singapore, Malaysia, Sept. 4-7, 2014.  They both were awarded $1,000 each from the International Federation of Pigment Cell Society and $600 each from the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research. 

Both students are mentored by Dr. Ivana de la Serna.

sa Shweta will give an oral presentation on her work entitled "To Investigate the Role of Baf60a in Melanocyte Differentiation"




at Archit will present a poster on his work entitled "The Role of BRD4 in Melanogenesis"





Cancer Biology Student Articles Published in The Toledo Blade

The Toledo Blade is publishing a series of articles written by Biomedical Sciences students here at the University of Toledo College of Medicine & Life Sciences.  Following is the series by our Cancer Biology students:

Shengnan Du (8/2/16) - Chemical that disrupts cell division could help to treat cancer

Kari Lavik (4/4/16) - Zebrafish help in the fight against cancer

Tupa Basuroy (12/7/15) - UT students research how to prevent melanoma 

Nneka Mbah (7/6/15) - Investigation ways to treat aggressive brain cancer

Gaurav Mehta (6/1/15) - Investigating link to proteins in heart failure

Shweta Aras (2/2/215) - Shining a light on the darkness of melanoma

Ila Datar (10/13/14) - The ongoing battle against melanoma

Jessica Arden (6/1/14) - Stopping cell movement in glioblastoma

Akshada Sawant (5/5/14) - UT doctoral students fight to tame cancer genes

Cancer Biology Student Finalists in 2014 Graduate Research Forum

Congratulations to Cancer Biology students Nneka Mbah, Gaurav Mehta and Meghan Wyse for their wins at the 2014 Graduate Research Forum.  A total of 38 students participated from all four Biomedical Sciences tracks and the College of Pharmacy. Each winner went through 2-3 rounds of screening to win their awards.  

nmNneka Mbah (Maltese lab)                                 

1st Place Poster Presentation       



gmGaurav Mehta (de la Serna lab)

1st Place Oral Presentation  




mwMeghan Wyse (Eisenmann lab)

2nd Place Oral Presentation  




Congratulations to Cancer Biology student, Nneka Mbah

nmCongratulations to Nneka Mbah (Maltese lab) for winning 3rd place in the Oral Presentation category at the Graduate Student Association 5th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium held March 29, 2014.  The symposium has been recognized as a premier event and offers great opportunities for students to present their research, networking, and fostering intercollegiate friendships and collaborations.  

Ms. Mbah also received a $1,500 Millennium Scholar-in-Training award from the American Association for Cancer Research.  The award provides financial support for AACR meeting attendance to offset expenses incurred attending the program.  Nneka  presented a poster at the AACR annual meeting (San Diego, April 5-9) entitled "Non-apoptotic death induced in glioma cells by the indole-based chalcone, MOMIPP, involves disruption of endolysosomal trafficking and ER stress" (N.E. Mbah, A.D. Trunk, B.A. Dewitt, J.H. Overmeyer and W.A. Maltese).

Dissertation Defense Announcements



Dr. Mbah successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Defining the Mechanisms of Methuosis, a Non-Apoptotic Cell Death Induced by Indole Chalcone Compounds in Glioblastoma  Cells" on November 30, 2016.  She has been mentored by Dr. William Maltese

xzCONGRATULATIONS to Xiaolu Zhang, Ph.D.!

Dr. Zhang successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Cis-acting genetic variants that alter ERCC5 regulation as a prototype to characterize cis-regulation of key protective genes in normal bronchial epithelial cells" on March 14, 2016.  She has been mentored by Dr. James Willey. Dr. Zhang has accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the NIH NHGRI.



klCONGRATULATIONS to Kari Lavik, Ph.D.!

Dr. Lavik successfully defended her dissertation entitled "A Collaborative Role for Neuronal-Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome Protein and Mammalian Diaphanous-Related Formins during Invadopodia Formation and Invasion" on January 8, 2016.  She has been mentored by Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann.



idCONGRATULATIONS to Ila Datar, Ph.D.!

Dr. Datar successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Positive and Negative Regulators of Tumorigenesis and Metastasis" on July 23, 2015.  She has been mentored by Dr. Kam Yeung and Dr. Ivana de la Serna.  Dr. Datar has accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Kurt Schalper, M.D., Ph.D., Dept. of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine.  She will be working on predictive biomarkers of lung cancer.


atCONGRATULATIONS to Archit Trivedi, Ph.D.!

Dr. Trivedi successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Bromodomain Containing Proteins in Melanocyte Differentiation and Melanoma" on July 15, 2015.  He has been mentored Dr. Ivana de la Serna.  Dr. Trivedi has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Lewis A. Chodosh, Dept. of Cancer Biology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  He will be working on tumor dormancy, recurrence and related mechanisms.

saCONGRATULATIONS to Shweta Aras, Ph.D.!

Dr. Aras successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Role of SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Enzymes in Melanocyte Differentiation and DNA Damage Response to Ultraviolet Radiation" on July 13, 2015.  She has been mentored by Dr. Ivana de la Serna.  Dr. Aras has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. M. Raza Zaidi, Dept. Biochemistry, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.  She will be working on molecular mechanisms of ultraviolet radiation induced melanomagenesis.

gmCONGRATULATIONS to Gaurav Mehta, Ph.D.!

Dr. Mehta successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Role of transcription factor MITF and SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzyme subunit BRG1 in the regulation of pathological cardiac hypertrophy" on June 3, 2015.  He has been mentored by Dr. Ivana de la Serna.  Dr. Mehta has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Jonathan Epstein, Dept of Medicine & Penn Cardiovascular Institute at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.




Last Updated: 5/17/17