July 29, 2022

Winship and UGA host summit to foster collaborations in cancer research and training

The recent UGA-Winship Cancer Research Summit: Advancing Cancer Research in Georgia explored the strengths and synergies of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University's collaboration with the University of Georgia (UGA) aimed at accelerating cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment and educating the next generation of cancer researchers.

The summit was held on July 17-18 at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and brought together students, trainees and research faculty. It opened with a banquet and keynote address from Tony Hunter, PhD, deputy director of the Salk Cancer Center in La Jolla, Calif., who presented "A journey from phosphotyrosine to phosphohistidine and what it has taught us about cancer mechanisms."

Faculty presentations on emerging topics spanned basic, translational, clinical and population sciences. Poster sessions featured graduate student and trainee research.

Top-scoring poster presentations from each institution will receive travel scholarships to help fund travel to a scientific meeting, workshop, training or professional development activity.

Winship poster session award winners include:

  • First place: Rebecca Parker, Cancer Biology Graduate Program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University, "Defining the role of PER1 and circadian rhythm dysregulation in KRAS/LKB1-mutant lung adenocarcinoma."
  • Second place: Wukun Ouyang, Cancer Biology 4+1 Master's Program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University, "Oncogenic protein-protein interaction network informed discovery of novel SMAD4 binding partners."
  • Third place (tie): Ruby Freeman, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, "Engineering novel multi-cytokine backpacks for manufacturing functionally improved CAR T cell products."
  • Third place (tie): Qiankun Niu, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, "Advancing mutation-directed neo-protein-protein interactions with cancer cellular context to inform oncogenic pathway rewiring."

UGA poster session award winners include:

  • First place: George Bendzunas, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, "Investigating oxidative regulation of the dark kinase BRSK."
  • Second place: Matthew Whittaker, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Georgia, "In silico optimized stapled peptides targeting WASF3 in breast cancer."
  • Third place: Joshua Watson, Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia, "Human basal-like breast cancer is represented by one of the two mammary cancer subtypes in dogs."

The summit's steering committee members included representatives from Winship and UGA:



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