Jack Kincaid, a trainee in the lab of Nathan A. Berger, MD, received the AACR Meritorious Achievement Award at the AACR Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition (USCPC) held during the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Kincaid's poster reports the effects of sex and obesity on latency of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL), highlighting the likelihood APL will join a list of 13 other malignancies formally labeled as obesity-associated cancers. Currently, only one hematologic malignancy, multiple myeloma, is formally identified as obesity-associated. The research, with Berger and Berger Lab Senior Research Assistant and Manager Anne Baskin, revealed how obesity and obesogenic diets accelerated the development of APL, with males demonstrating earlier development of the disease and provided a robust model to study mechanisms by which sex impacts leukemia latency.
“Obesity-associated cancers are a growingly relevant public health concern following the advent of the obesity pandemic, said Kincaid. "I think these topics are going to become increasingly emphasized in the clinical setting as to informing the prevention and treatment of cancer.” He also noted the need for further mechanistic studies of how obesity directly or indirectly impacts the development of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, which are underway with former CWRU collaborators now at Emory University.
Jack’s time in the Berger lab over the past three years was partially sponsored by his acceptance into the initial CanSUR program cohort in 2019.
"Jack's experience clearly shows the importance of research exposure to the success of our Case Western Reserve University students and conversely, the significant impact our students can make to solving the research questions," said Berger. "Our students are fortunate to have these opportunities provided by the faculty of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center."
Kincaid will graduate from Case Western Reserve University this weekend with a BA in Nutritional Biochemistry, Summa Cum Laude as recipient of the Millis Award for Best Academic Record and an MS in Nutrition, Summa Cum Laude. Following graduation, Jack will work as a research assistant in the lab of Sir Stephen O’Rahilly at the University of Cambridge, studying obesity genetics prior to applying for an MD-PhD program. His ultimate goal is to conduct research integrating precision nutrition and functional genomics for prevention and treatment of disease, particularly cancer.