Department of Cancer Biology

News & Announcements 

Dr. Saori Furuta receives Dean's Award for New Investigator Research Excellence for

Saori Furuta Dr. Saori Furuta has been awarded  the 2020 University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Dean's Award for New Investigator in Research Excellence.  This award is presented to investigators who have been members of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences less than six years, have an emerging record of research productivity, exemplified by high quality publications recognized in peer-reviewed journals, a record of current peer-reviewed research grant support, a competitive H index, and emerging national recognition for creativity in their specific area of expertise.  Dr. Furuta was strongly supported for this award by her peers and student representatives.  Congratulations Dr. Furuta!

 Recent Research Awards for Cancer Biology Faculty

 Saori Furuta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

American Cancer Society (RSG-18-238-01-CSM), “Roles of Reduced Nitric Oxide in Formation of Early-Stage Breast Lesions”, $792,000, 1/1/19-12/31/22.  This project aims to determine the mechanisms by which nitric oxide inhibits TGF beta and ERBB2 at post-translational levels and the pathological relevance of reduced basal nitric oxide to formation of precancerous breast lesions.

National Cancer Institute (R01CA248304), “Normalizing Arginine Metabolism with Sepiaptein for Immunostimulatory Shift of HER2+ Breast Cancer”, $1,928,750, 3/4/20-2/28/25. This proposal aims to monitor changes in arginine metabolism during breast tumor progression and determine whether normalization of arginine metabolism will improve the immunogenicity of breast tumor and inhibit tumor growth.

Dayanidhi Raman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

 deArce-Koch Memorial Endowment Program, “Targeting of eIF4A1 in Drug-Resistant Triple-Negative Breast Cancer”, $25,000, 5/3/20-6/30/21

 Yue Zou, Ph.D., Professor

National Cancer Institute (7R01CA219342), “ATR Isomerization in Cellular Responses to UV Damage of DNA”, $1,022,343, 8/1/19-7/31/20. This project looks at Narrative Ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related (ATR) plays a key role in DNA damage responses relevant to cancer, aging, and other human diseases.  A very recent finding from Zou’s lab reveals that ATR functions can be modulated by prolyl isomerization. This project explores the novel role of ATR isomerization in promoting or suppressing UV- induced cell death depending on the types of ATR isomeric formation.

Sangita Sridharan receives 2020 UToledo Retirees Association Scholarship

Congratulations to Sangita Sridharan for being awarded the 2020 UTRA scholarship award.  sridharanHer advisor, Dr. Dayanidhi Raman, described Sangita as industrious, focused and dedicated as she worked on a very challenging research project.  It is an honor and genuine pleasure to have her study in his lab.  The scholarship is granted annually to two students in the Biomedical Sciences PhD or MS program.  Candidates are selected based on academic excellence and valuable contributions to the campus and/or community.

2019 Larry Gentry Research Forum

The Biomedical Sciences Cancer Biology track held their annual research retreat, Larry Gentry Research Forum, on Oct. 23rd, 2019 in faculty club at the Radisson. The Dept. of Cancer Biology sponsored event, named after the late Larry Gentry, Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, featured presentations from 16 Cancer Biology graduate students in three sessions on different types of cancer. Each session was moderated by a peer student. Keynote speaker and 2006 Cancer Biology track alumni, Baochun Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Immune Disease Institute and Children’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School.  He gave a superb seminar on “Pathogenesis, Immune Surveillance and Immunotherapy of B-cell Malignancies” where CD4+-T cells can be turned into cytotoxic T-cells. The event promoted scientific exchange among students, faculty members and the keynote speaker. Importantly, our students interacted with the guest speaker to learn his approach to a successful academic career.


howard smas

Based on the initiative from our new chairman, Dr. Jian-Ting Zhang, we have instituted a “Graduate Student Excellence” award for the best graduate student who excelled in both coursework and research. The student award committee chaired by Dr. Cynthia Smas set rigorous standards for obtaining this award. Congratulations to 4th year graduate student, Cory Howard, who won the 2019 award.

Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann Receives 2019 Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence eisenmann dean's award

Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann was presented with the 2019 Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at the Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet held at the Belmont Country Club on August 29.  She also recently celebrated her 10 year anniversary at the University of Toledo College of Medicine & Life Sciences.  Well done Dr. E!

Congratulations to Kate Becker and Sangit
a Sridharan

Heartiest congratulations to Kate Becker (Eisenmann lab) and Sangita Sridharan (Raman lab) for winning poster presentations at the 2019 Graduate Research Forum.

Kate won 1st place for her poster entitled "Targeting the mDia formin-assembled cytoskeleton is an effective anti-invasion strategy in adult high-grade glioma patient-derived neurospheres"

Sangita won 5th place for her poster entitled "Targeted therapy against protein translation initiation machinery in breast cancer stem cells"

2nd Annual Cancer Symposium Highlights Cancer Research at UT
and ProMedica

On Friday, December 7, 2018, faculty, physicians, residents and graduate students attended the 2nd Annual Cancer Research Symposium held in the Mahogany Room at the Toledo Radisson located on The University of Toledo Health Science campus.  Session presenters provided overviews of the scientific cancer research programs at the University of Toledo and ProMedica.  The meeting was organized by Dr. F. Charles Brunicardi.  Dr. Jian-Ting Zhang, Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the Indiana University, gave the plenary lecture on "A Targeted Drug Discovery Program, a Small Business Start-Up Model and Perspectives at UT."  This program was held to increase awareness of cancer research resources at The University of Toledo and ProMedica.  See the full agenda.


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:

Kathryn Becker (7/6/20) - The Crafty Nature of Glioblastoma

Joshua Letson (4/6/20) - UT Researchers Employ Nitric Oxide in the Breast Cancer Fight

Sangitha Sridharan (3/2/20) - UT Research Targets Drug-Resistant Cancer Stem Cells

Yashna Walia (12/2/19) - UT Researchers Seek the Root Cause of Breast Cancer

Cory Howard (7/1/19) - Proteins may fuel life, but some also feed cancers

Augustus Tilley (10/1/18) - Toledo researcher works to disrupt metastatic breast cancer

Kaitlyn Dvorak (7/2/18) - Microenvironment play a role in cancer progression

Kalpana Gardiyawasam (03/05/18) - Researchers aim to block breast cancer metastasis

Zehui (Lesley) Li (12/31/17) - Cancer researchers focus on how cells communicate

Shengnan Du (9/2/16) - Chemical that disrupts cell division could help to treat cancer

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

2017-2019 Thesis Defense

Cory Howard

Dr. Howard successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Characterization of the CXR4-LASP1-eIF4F Axis in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer" on June 10, 2020.  He has been mentored by Dr. Dayanidhi Raman.  Dr. Howard will begin the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at Michigan State University in Fall 2020.


CONGRATULATIONS to Sandun Kalpana Gardiyawasam, Ph.D.
Dr. Gardiyawasam successfully defended her dissertation entitled "A mechanistic investigation of the role of RhoA and RKIP in breast cancer invasion and metastasis" on July 23, 2019.  She has been mentored by Dr. Kam Yeung


Dr. Zhang successfully defended her dissertation entitled "The Role of mDia2 in Adherens Junctions in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer" on February 20, 2019.  She has been mentored by Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann. Dr. Zhang will return to medical school to resume her MD degree requirements. 


CONGRATULATIONS to Tupa Basuroy, Ph.D.
Dr. Basuroy successfully defended her dissertation entitled "The Role of Bromodomain Containing Protein 9 (BRD9) in Melanogenesis and Melanoma" on August 21, 2018.  She has been mentored by Dr. Ivana de la Serna.  


CONGRATULATIONS to Zehui Lesley Li, Ph.D.
Dr. Li successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Effects and Mechanisms of Methuosis Defined Through the Use of Indolyl Chalcone Analogs in Glioblastoma Cells" on May 23, 2018.  She has been mentored by Dr. William Maltese. Dr. Li has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Michel DuPage, Dept. of Immunology and Pathogenesis at the University of California, Berkeley. 


CONGRATULATIONS to Kaitlyn Dvorak, Ph.D.
Dr. Dvorak successfully defended her dissertation entitled "A Role for the Tumor Microenvironment in Regulating Cytoskeletal Dynamics in the Setting of Breast Cancer Migration and Invasion" on March 30, 2018.  She has been mentored by Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann. Dr. Dvorak is a Clinical Research Coordinator at OSUCCC-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.


Dr. Du successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Novel Microtubule-Disrupting Indole-Based Chalcones That Induce Cell Death in Glioblastoma" on December 7, 2017.  She has been mentored by Dr. William Maltese.  Dr. Du has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Daphne Bell, Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

2006-2016 Cancer Biology graduates


Last Updated: 9/29/20