More Than 50 Enter Research Day Poster Contest

Nine students, post-doctoral fellows and technicians who work in the laboratories of Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) faculty received awards for their work during the institute’s first Research Day Monday, April 23.

The group was honored as winners of a poster contest focused on cancer research that attracted more than 50 participants from the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB).

Top ranked undergraduates were Paul Lambert, Laura Thelen and Javier Pineda of Notre Dame. Lambert and Thelen both work in the lab of Amanda Hummon, Notre Dame Walther Cancer Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Notre Dame. Pineda works in the lab of Olaf Weist, Notre Dame professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Raju Rayavarapu, Bryan Smith and James Clancy, Notre Dame graduate students, won top awards among graduate students. Rayavarapu works in the lab of Zachary T. Shafer, Notre Dame assistant professor of biological sciences. Smith works with Bradley Smith, Emil T. Hofman Professor of Chemistry, and Clancy works in the lab of Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey, Notre Dame professor of biological sciences.

Post-doctoral fellow awards went to Stancy Joseph, from the lab of Karen Cowden-Dahl, IUSM-SB assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular biology; Ana Jakimenko, also from Schafer’s laboratory, and Chris Gunasekaran, from the laboratory of Robert Stahelin, IUSM-SB assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular biology.

First, second and third-place awards were given in each category. The projects were:

Lambert--Comparative LC-MS/MS analysis of colorectal adenocarcinoma cells via stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) following silencing of CASP8AP2/FLASH (1st place, undergraduates).

Thelen--The role of over-expressed nucleoporin Nup62CL mRNA on disease progression and metastasis in colorectal cancer cells (2nd place, undergraduates).

Pineda--DOT1L and Structure-Based Drug Design: Protein-Drug Interactions and Identification of Inhibitors (3rd place, undergraduates).

Rayavarapu--The Role of Cell-Cell Contacts in the Survival of Extracellular Matrix Detached Mammary Epithelial Cells (1st place, graduate students).

Smith--Versatile Near-Infrared Synthetic Probe for Cell Death Imaging (2nd place, graduate students).

Clancy--Deciphering the Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Cell Invasion (3rd place, graduate students).

Joseph--ARID3B induces Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha mediated apoptosis while a novel ARID3B slice form does not induce cell death (1st place, post-doctoral fellow/technician).

Jakimenko--The Regulation of Anoikis by Carcinoma-Associated Fibroblasts in Breast Cancer Cells, (2nd place, post-doctoral fellow/technician).

Gunasekaran Regulation of novel Protein Kinase C by metals – An attractive drug target in cancer treatment (3rd place, post-doctoral fellow/technician).

HCRI, a joint partnership between IUSM-SB and Notre Dame, was inaugurated March 8, 2011 with the opening of Harper Hall. The Institute serves as the locus of cancer research activity for IUSM-SB, Notre Dame, and the regional medical community with efforts that promise to quicken the pace at which new treatments and diagnostics are discovered, developed, tested in clinical trials, and ultimately used to improve and save lives.