March 2022

Congratulations to SSOM Department of Cancer Biology Assistant Professor Irida Kastrati who was awarded an internal Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion “JEDI” grant for her project titled  “SELENOF and Western Diet Promote Aggressive Breast Cancer Disease That Predominantly Affects African American Women.” This work will establish whether the loss of SELENOF, a newly identified tumor suppressor in breast cancer, together with the consumption of a Western diet will promote and exacerbate breast tumorigenesis. Loss of SELENOF disproportionately affects African American patients, therefore findings may help elucidate the underlying biological factors contributing to racial disparity in breast cancer.

February 2022

Seven Stritch biomedical science students, three from the Department of Cancer
Biology participated in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition. 

LUC Grad students winners of 3 minute thesis competition

Pictured are (left to right):  Monika Evdokimova (MIIM PhD, 3rd Place), Jesus Zamora-Pineda (MIIM MD/PhD), Emily Ma (ICB MD/PhD, 1st Place), Austin Runde (CMO-MS) and Asra Habibullah (CMO-MS).  Not pictured:  Manuel Flores and Will Zhang (both PHAR-PhD).  1st-place winner Emily Ma will go on to represent Loyola at the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools regional 3-MT competition. 

Student Spotlight: Lola Badmus
PhD candidate Lola Badmus balances researching potentially life-saving leukemia therapies with promoting science and research to girls.

October 2021

Ryan Mack, MD, PhD student in the Zhang lab has been appointed to Dr. Knight's NIH T32 Training Grant effective September 1, 2021.

Ololade Badmus, a PhD student in the Zeleznik-Le lab, has received a three year NIH/NCI administrative supplement award to continue her dissertation research (7/1/21-6/30/24).

Congratulations to Lynn Walter on her promotion to Associate Director for Administration, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.  Lynn begins her new position on October 25, 2021.  Lynn has been an integral part of cancer research administration for many years.  She served as Division Administrator of the Oncology Research Institute from 2006-2018, and subsequently as Administrative Director of the Department of Cancer Biology since it was formed in 2018. In addition to her role in the department, she has served as Interim Associate Director of CBCC since 2019.  We wish her well in her new position.

September 2021

Congratulations to Andrew Dingwall, PhD who was named as a Loyola Magis Faculty Leadership Fellow.

Dr. Dingwall was selected for the inaugural Magis Faculty Leadership Program offered through the Office of the Provost.  The program was created to develop the next generation of servant leaders at Loyola University Chicago.  It will provide professional development for faculty who are interested in exploring campus administration and leadership.

March 2022
Recent Grant Awards

Assistant Professor Irida Kastrati who was awarded an internal Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion “JEDI” grant for her project titled  “SELENOF and Western Diet Promote Aggressive Breast Cancer Disease That Predominantly Affects African American Women.”

January 2022
Recent Grant Awards

Weihang (Valerie) Chai, NIH R01CA 234266-05, “Molecular Modulator of RPA and RAD51 in Maintaining Genome Stability” 1/1/22 – 12/31/22

September 2021
Recent Grant Awards

Kathy Albain, MD, and Clodia Osipo, PhD  - Breast Cancer Research Foundation (renewal) award, “The role of DAXX as a breast cancer suppressor and predictor of therapeutic response in estrogen receptor positive and triple negative disease” 10/1/21 – 9/30/22

Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center FY22 Translational Research Development Awards

  • Jonathan Kirk and Clodia Osipo, “Targeting HSP70-BAG3 in Breast Cancer and the Impact on the Heart”
  • Mitch Denning & Jiwang Zhang, “Targeting Necrotic Cell Death to Prevent Skin Carcinogenesis” 

August 2021

The Oak Park Conservatory was the setting for the August 13 Meet and Greet for Loyola Graduate students sponsored by the Department of Cancer Biology.  While eating and drinking the faculty, students and staff enjoyed the pleasant weather on the outdoor patio.   The faculty presented a 3-minute research presentation – kept on time by a duck caller and the students broke into teams for a scavenger hunt.

June 2021

Congratulations to Emily Ma, MD/PhD student in Dr. Clodia Osipo’s lab, who received the Arthur J. Schmitt Dissertation Fellowship In Leadership & Service for AY 2021-2022.

May 2021

Congratulations to Kimberly Foreman, PhD who received the 2020-2021 Educator of the Year Award from the M1 class at the Stritch School of Medicine.

Recent Publications:

Stephanie Berg, MD

Stephanie Berg, Amy Wozniak, Ahmed Aleem, Elizabeth Elliott, Ryan Guerrettaz, Hina Dalal, Raymond Lee, ,Patrick Moore, Sonam Patel, Shuai Qin, Glenda Delgado Ramos, Fatema Esmail, Rebecca Feltman Frank, Ellen Murchie, Laura Pax, Nicole Yun, Kevin Barton, Patrick Hagen, Nasheed Hossain, Hanh Mai, Sucha Nand, Kathleen Phelan, Patrick Stiff
COVID-19 Thromboembolism Incidence, Risk Factors and Anticoagulation Practices from a Chicago Metropolitan US Population.
Am J Hematol. 2022 Mar 18. doi: 10.1002/ajh.26541. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 35303373.

Hiten Patel, Stephanie Berg. Active Cellular Immunotherapy in the Desert of Advanced Prostate Cancer, JAMA Oncol. 2022 Feb 10. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.7282. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 35142797

Schmidt AL, Labaki C, Hsu CY, Bakouny Z, Balanchivadze N, Berg SA et al.. COVID-19 vaccination and breakthrough infections in patients with cancer. Ann Oncol. 2021 Dec 24:S0923-7534(21)04880-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2021.12.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34958894; PMCID: PMC8704021

Patel HD, Patel SH, Blanco-Martinez E, Kuzbel J, Chen VS, Druck A, Koehne EL, … , Berg S, … , Quek ML.
Four versus Three Cycles of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Muscle- Invasive Bladder Cancer: Implications for Pathologic Response and Survival. J Urol. 2021 Aug 27:101097JU0000000000002189. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002189. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34445890.

Alderuccio JP, Olszewski AJ, Evens AM, Collins GP, Danilov AV, Bower M, Jagadeesh D, Zhu C, … , Berg S, … , Cwynarski K. HIV-associated Burkitt lymphoma: outcomes from a US-UK collaborative analysis. Blood Adv. 2021 Jul 27;5(14):2852-2862. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004458. PMID: 34283175; PMCID: PMC8341354.

Evens AM, Danilov A, Jagadeesh D, Sperling A, Kim SH, Vaca R, Wei C, Rector D, … , Berg S, … , Alderuccio JP. Burkitt lymphoma in the modern era: real-world outcomes and prognostication across 30 US cancer centers. Blood. 2021 Jan 21;137(3):374-386. doi: 10.1182/blood.2020006926. PMID: 32663292.

Zayac AS, Evens AM, Danilov A, Smith SD, Jagadeesh D, Leslie LA, Wei C, Kim SH, … , Berg S, … , Olszewski AJ. Outcomes of Burkitt lymphoma with central nervous system involvement: evidence from a large multicenter cohort study. Haematologica. 2021 Jul 1;106(7):1932-1942. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2020.270876. PMID: 33538152; PMCID: PMC8252937.

Mousa-Ibrahim F, Berg S, Od TP, Detola O, Teitcher M, Ruland S. Intracranial Hemorrhage in Hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 Patients: A Case Series. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Jan;30(1):105428. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105428. Epub 2020 Nov 2. PMID: 33161349; PMCID: PMC7605803.

Weihang “Valerie” Chai, PhD
Lei KH, Yang HL, Nguyen DD, Chang HY, Yeh HY, Lee TY, Lyu X, Chai W, Li WL, Chi P. Crosstalk between CST and RPA regulates RAD51 activity during replication stress. Nature Comm. In press (IF: 14.919)

Chai W, Chastain M, Shiva O, Wang Y. The intrinsic disordered region in the human STN1 OB-fold domain is important for genome stability. Biology. 2021. 10(10), 977. PMID: TBD (IF: 5.079)

Lyu X, Sang PB, Chai W. CST in maintaining genome stability: Beyond telomeres. DNA Repair (Amst). 2021 Jun;102:103104. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2021.103104. Epub 2021 Mar 22. PMID: 33780718; PMCID: PMC8081025.

Lyu X, Lei KH, Biak Sang P, Shiva O, Chastain M, Chi P, Chai W. Human CST complex protects stalled replication forks by directly blocking MRE11 degradation of nascent-strand DNA. EMBO J. 2021 Jan 15;40(2):e103654. doi: 10.15252/embj.2019103654. Epub 2020 Nov 19. PMID: 33210317; PMCID: PMC7809791.

Mitchell Denning, PhD
Wang H, Hou W, Perera A, Bettler C, Beach JR, Ding X, Li J, Denning MF, Dhanarajan A, … , Qiu W. Targeting EphA2 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma initiation and progression by dual inhibition of JAK1/STAT3 and AKT signaling. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 23;34(8):108765. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108765. PMID: 33626345; PMCID: PMC7954228.

Sean Fanning, PhD
Mayne CG, Toy W, Carlson KE, Bhatt T, Fanning SW, Greene GL, Katzenellenbogen BS, Chandarlapaty S, Katzenellenbogen JA, Tajkhorshid E. Defining the Energetic Basis for a Conformational Switch Mediating Ligand-Independent Activation of Mutant Estrogen Receptors in Breast Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2021 Sep;19(9):1559-1570. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-20-1017. Epub 2021 May 21. PMID: 34021071; PMCID: PMC8419021.

Boudreau MW, Duraki D, Wang L, Mao C, Kim JE, Henn MA, Tang B, Fanning SW, Kiefer J, Tarasow TM, Bruckheimer EM, Moreno R, Mousses S, Greene GL, Roy EJ, Park BH, Fan TM, Nelson ER, Hergenrother PJ, Shapiro DJ. A small-molecule activator of the unfolded protein response eradicates human breast tumors in mice. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Jul 21;13(603):eabf1383. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abf1383. PMID: 34290053; PMCID: PMC8456366.

Lainé M, Fanning SW, Chang YF, Green B, Greene ME, Komm B, Kurleto JD, Phung L, Greene GL. Lasofoxifene as a potential treatment for therapy-resistant ER- positive metastatic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2021 May 12;23(1):54. doi: 10.1186/s13058-021-01431-w. PMID: 33980285; PMCID: PMC8117302.
Abderrahman B, Maximov PY, Curpan RF, Fanning SW, Hanspal JS, Fan P, Foulds CE, Chen Y, Malovannaya A, Jain A, Xiong R, Greene GL, Tonetti DA, Thatcher GRJ, Jordan VC. Rapid Induction of the Unfolded Protein Response and Apoptosis by Estrogen Mimic TTC-352 for the Treatment of Endocrine-Resistant Breast Cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Jan;20(1):11-25. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-20-0563. Epub 2020 Nov 11. PMID: 33177154; PMCID: PMC7790886.

Irida Kastrati, PhD
Zigrossi A, Hong LK, Ekyalongo RC, Cruz-Alvarez C, Gornick E, Diamond AM, Kastrati I. SELENOF is a new tumor suppressor in breast cancer. Oncogene. 2022 Feb;41(9):1263-1268. doi: 10.1038/s41388-021-02158-w. Epub 2022 Jan 27. PMID: 35082382.
PMID: 35082382

Hong LK, Kadkol S, Sverdlov M, Kastrati I, Elhodaky M, Deaton R, Sfanos KS, Wang H, Liu L, Diamond AM. Loss of SELENOF Induces the Transformed Phenotype in Human Immortalized Prostate Epithelial Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 7;22(21):12040. doi: 10.3390/ijms222112040.
PMID: 34769469

Michael Nishimura, PhD
Suzanne Quinn, Victoria Dronzek, Gina Scurti, Nasheed Hossain, Michael Nishimura
Genetic Modification of T Cells for the Immunotherapy of Cancer. Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Mar 16;10(3):457. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10030457 
PMID: 35335089

Lee JG, Jaeger KE, Seki Y, Wei Lim Y, Cunha C, Vuchkovska A, Nelson AJ, Nikolai A, Kim D, Nishimura M, Knight KL, White P, Iwashima M. Human CD36hi monocytes induce Foxp3+ CD25+  T cells with regulatory functions from CD4 and CD8 subsets. Immunology. 2021 Jul;163(3):293-309. doi: 10.1111/imm.13316. Epub 2021 Mar 7. PMID: 33524161; PMCID: PMC8207412.

Wang SY, Moore TV, Dalheim AV, Scurti GM, Nishimura MI. Melanoma reactive TCR-modified T cells generated without activation retain a less differentiated phenotype and mediate a superior in vivo response. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 25;11(1):13327. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92808-6. PMID: 34172810; PMCID: PMC8233420.

Moore TV, Scurti GM, DeJong M, Wang SY, Dalheim AV, Wagner CR, Hutchens KA, Speiser JJ, Godellas CV, Fountain C, Fleser J, Moudgil T, Thomas M, Murray D, Curti BD, Clark JI, Fox BA, Nishimura MI. HDAC inhibition prevents transgene expression downregulation and loss-of-function in T-cell-receptor-transduced T cells. Mol Ther Oncolytics. 2021 Jan 26;20:352-363. doi: 10.1016/j.omto.2021.01.014. PMID: 33614916; PMCID: PMC7878989.

Wei Qiu, PhD
Wei Hou, Bryan Bridgeman, Greg Malnassy, Xianzhoug Ding, Scott Cotler, Asha Dhanarajan, Wei Qiu. Integrin Subunit Beta 8 Contributes to Lenvatinib Resistance in HCC.Hepatol Commun. 2022 Mar 3. doi: 10.1002/hep4.1928. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 35238496

Fang Wang, Fr. Peter Breslin, and Wei Qiu published “Novel Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma” in Liver Res. 2021 Dec; 5(4): 195-203 doi: 10.1016/j.livres.2021..06.001 Epub 2021 June 23 PMID 34900376

Song X, Xu H, Wang P, Wang J, Affo S, Wang H, Xu M, Liang B, Che L, Qiu W, Schwabe RF, Chang TT, Vogl M, Pes GM, Ribback S, Evert M, Chen X, Calvisi DF. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) promotes cholangiocarcinoma development and progression via YAP activation. J Hepatol. 2021 Oct;75(4):888-899. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.05.018. Epub 2021 May 28. PMID: 34052254; PMCID: PMC8453055.

Wang H, Qiu W. EPHA2, a promising therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma. Mol Cell Oncol. 2021 Apr 14;8(3):1910009. doi: 10.1080/23723556.2021.1910009. PMID: 34027045; PMCID: PMC8128187.

Wang F, Malnassy G, Qiu W. The Epigenetic Regulation of Microenvironment in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Front Oncol. 2021 Mar 15;11:653037. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.653037. PMID: 33791228; PMCID: PMC8005717.

Wang H, Hou W, Perera A, Bettler C, Beach JR, Ding X, Li J, Denning MF, Dhanarajan A, Cotler SJ, Joyce C, Yin J, Ahmed F, Roberts LR, Qiu W. Targeting EphA2 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma initiation and progression by dual inhibition of JAK1/STAT3 and AKT signaling. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 23;34(8):108765. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108765. PMID: 33626345; PMCID: PMC7954228.

Jiwang Zhang, MD, PhD
Runde AP, Mack R, S J PB, Zhang J. The role of TBK1 in cancer pathogenesis and anticancer immunity. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 9;41(1):135. doi: 10.1186/s13046-022-02352-y. PMID: 35395857; PMCID: PMC8994244.

Yan B, Yang J, Kim MY, Luo H, Cesari N, Yang T, Strouboulis J, Zhang J, Hardison R, Huang S, Qiu Y. HDAC1 is required for GATA-1 transcription activity, global chromatin occupancy and hematopoiesis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Aug 27:gkab737. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkab737. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34450641.

Mack R, Zhang L, Breslin Sj P, Zhang J. The Fetal-to-Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transition and its Role in Childhood Hematopoietic Malignancies. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2021 Aug 23. doi: 10.1007/s12015-021-10230-x. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34424480.

Sheng Y, Ma R, Yu C, Wu Q, Zhang S, Paulsen K, Zhang J, Ni H, Huang Y, Zheng Y, Qian Z. Role of c-Myc haploinsufficiency in the maintenance of HSCs in mice. Blood. 2021 Feb 4;137(5):610-623. doi: 10.1182/blood.2019004688. PMID: 33538795; PMCID: PMC8215193.



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