August 19, 2022

Department Gathering and New Graduate Student Meet and Greet

Grad students meet and greet Faculty and grad students talking on patioA group of graduate students on patio

A combined departmental gathering and graduate student meet and greet was held at the Oak Park Conservatory in August.   More Photos


Group shot of LUC undergrads and their mentorsFaculty, students, staff and family attended the LUC Research Intern Symposium. This symposium was the culmination of a ten-week, full tme research internship between LUC Undergraduate science majors and the Department of Cancer Biology and the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center located on the Maywood campus.  More Photos

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.

Recent Grant Awards

July 2022

Professor Nancy Zeleznik-Le has been awarded a NIH grant titled, "AF9 (MLLT3) Function in Leukemia and Normal Hematopoiesis" 

June 2022

Professor Valerie Chai has been awarded a NIH grant titled "Identification of a Novel Tumor Suppressor of Melanoma and UV-Induced Genome.

May 2022

Professor Jiwang Zhang has been awarded a NIH grant title "RIP1/RIP3-Calpain-Stat3 and NF-kappa B Pathways in AML Pathogenesis and Treatment"  

March 2022

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

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

Recent Publications:

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
Speltz TE, Qiao Z, Swenson CS, Shangguan X, Coukos JS, Lee CW, Thomas DM, Santana J, Fanning SW, Greene GL, Moellering RETargeting MYC With Modular Synthetic Transcriptional Repressors Derived From bHLH DNA-Binding Domains.Nat Biotechnol 2022 Oct 27.doi: 10.1038/s41587-022-01504-x. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 36302987

Carstyn Joiner, Sean Fanning. A New Chemotype of Chemically Tractable Nonsteroidal Estrogens Based on a Thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine Core. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2022. doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.2c00180.

Carstyn Joiner, Govinda Hancock, Emily Sullivan, Sean Fanning. Stereospecific Lasofoxifene Derivatives Reveal the Interplay Between Estrogen Receptor Alpha Stability and Antagonistic Activity in ESR1 Mutant Breast Cancer Cells. eLife. 2022 May 16;11:e72512. doi: 10.7554/eLife.72512. Online ahead of print
PMID: 35575456

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.

Clodia Osipo, PhD
Mai Nguyen, Clodia Osipo. Review: Targeting Breast Cancer Stem Cells Using Naturally Occurring Phytoestrogens.Int J of Mol Sci, 2022, 23(12). 6813
PMID: 35743256

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.

Nan Sethakorn, MD, PhD
Integrated analysis of the tumor microenvironment using a reconfigurable microfluidic cell culture platform. 
FASEB J 2022 Oct;36(10):e22540. doi: 10.1096/fj.202200684RR.
PMID: 36083096

Jiwang Zhang, MD, PhD
Patrick Hagen, Mark Sellin, Stephanie Berg, Jiwang Zhang.
Increasing Genomic Discovery in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma: Defining Disease Biology and Its Correlation to Risk.Ann Hematol. 2022 May 18. Doi: 10.1007/s00277-022-04856-1 Epub ahead of print
PMID: 35585246

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.