Two Georgetown Graduate Students Take Home Awards from National Cancer Biology Meeting

Posted in GUMC Stories

Two Georgetown University Medical Center graduate students won awards at a recent cancer biology meeting, demonstrating that these budding scientists can hold their own on the national stage.

Risha Surana, an MD/PhD candidate in the Tumor Biology Program, and Jason Garee, PhD, a postdoctoral student in the same program, each won a poster competition at the 2012 Cancer Biology Training Consortium (CABTRAC)’s annual Cancer Biology Chair and Director’s Retreat, held November 9-11, 2012 at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.

Surana won the student poster award and Garee won the postdoctoral poster award. The Tumor Biology Program, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, is part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Surana, whose mentor is Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis Weiner, MD, presented his poster titled “Targeting Tumor-Derived Immunosuppression to Enhance the Efficacy of Tumor-Targeted Antibody Therapy”.

Garee, under the mentorship of Anna Riegel, PhD, the director for cancer research education at Georgetown Lombardi, presented his poster titled “Role of the AIB1/ANCO1 Complex in Estrogen-mediated Repression of the ErbB2 Oncogene”.

“The CABTRAC retreat provided valuable information on the current status of cancer biology training and how best to prepare trainees for both academic and non-academic careers,” Surana says.

Garee added, “I thought it was a great experience to understand the focus and direction for training the younger generation of cancer biologists and I felt honored to be recognized for the science that I presented on my poster by a group of people focused on developing the forthcoming generation of cancer researchers.”

Riegel has been appointed to the CABTRAC Board of Directors, a role that that strives to define a curriculum to train new investigators in fundamental and translational approaches to cancer biology.

“Since its inception in 2005, CABTRAC has played a prominent role in defining cancer biology training for graduate and medical students as well as for post doctoral fellows,” Riegel says. “ I am enthusiastic about joining the board of directors and contributing to the future plans of this organization.”

The Cancer Biology Training Consortium was established to facilitate the exchange of ideas between individuals and institutions dedicated to the mission of training the next generation of cancer researchers. The consortium works closely with over 50 institutions within the United States as well as the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Training Branch.

By Sarah Kana, Georgetown Lombardi Communications

(Published January 04, 2013)