CanSUR Mentors

Cancer Cell Signaling

Susann Brady-Kalnay, PhD
Professor, Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Research Focus: Receptor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase PTPmu in human cancer: specifically glioblastoma (GBM); biomarkers in cancer to develop specific imaging agents and novel therapeutics

Matthias Buck, PhD
Professor, Physiology and Biophysics
Research Focus: Protein-protein interactions in cell signaling of small GTPases, Plexin and Eph receptors

Fabio Cominelli, MD, PhD
Professor, Gastroenterology
Research Focus: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), i.e. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and risk for developing colorectal cancer; Mouse models of Crohn's disease

Nicole Crown, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biology and Genetics and Genome Sciences
Research Focus: Mechanisms of genome instability that lead to cancer; the role of chromosome rearrangements in genome instability

David Danielpour, PhD
Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: Role of TGF-β1 signaling as a mediator androgen-withdrawal induced apoptosis and the mechanism by which AR controls TGF-β signaling

Clark W. Distelhorst, MD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); BCl2 blockade

Thomas T. Egelhoff, PhD
Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Cytoskeleton; wound healing; metastasis; cell migration; breast cancer invasion

Charis Eng, MD, PhD
Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Research Focus: Genetics, signaling pathways and mouse modeling of inherited PTEN mutations as they predispose to cancer and autism; microbiome as a modifier of disease

Paul L. Fox, PhD
Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Angiogenesis; cell migration; endothelial cells; iron metabolism; macrophages; translational control VEGF-Ax as a cancer inhibitor, translation mechanism.

Clifford V. Harding, MD, PhD
Professor, Pathology
Research Focus: Cell biology of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and their regulation by Toll-like receptors

Mark W. Jackson, PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology
Research Focus: Cellular transformation; tumor microenvironmental cytokines and cancer cell plasticity; JAK/STAT, EGFR, RAS signaling

Hung-Ying Kao, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry
Research Focus: Elucidation of aberrant oncogenic signaling, metabolism, and transcription regulation in breast cancer

Ruth A. Keri, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology
Research Focus: Genomic and signaling mechanisms that control mammary gland development and cancer

Justin D. Lathia, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Glioblastoma; role of CSCs in tumorigenesis, cell to cell communication; in vivo imaging

Xiaoxia Li, PhD
Professor, Immunology
Research Focus: IL-1 receptor/Toll-like receptor (IL-1R-TLR) signaling mechanisms

Fu-Sen Liang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Research Focus: RNA regulation, epigenetics and cell engineering; develop new chemical and biological tools to manipulate non-coding RNA activities, epigenetic modifications and mammalian cell behaviors

Danny Manor, PhD
Associate Professor, Nutrition
Research Focus: Regulation of proliferative signaling by small GTPases and GEFs in normal cells and in cancer

Shigemi Matsuyama, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Role of bcl2, Bax and Ku70 in cell survival and cell death

Monica M. Montano, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology
Research Focus: Identification of factors in breast and prostate cancer critical in the transition to hormone-independence, resistance to cancer therapeutics, and ability to metastasize

Agne Petrosiute, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Research Focus: Immune checkpoint regulation and tumor immunology

Parameswaran Ramakrishnan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Immunometabolism and cancer in Leukemia and Lymphoma; inflammation and cancer; discovery of novel mechanisms and therapeutic targets linking chronic inflammation and cancer

Ofer Reizes, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Breast cancer, gynecologic cancer, DNA damage response, cancer stem cells, microbiome, HIPEC

William P. Schiemann, PhD
Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: "TGFβ Paradox" and its relationship to the initiation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell

Nima Sharifi, MD
Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Steroid metabolism and prostate cancer resistance to hormonal therapies

Robert H. Silverman, PhD
Professor, Cancer Biology
Research Focus: Molecular pathways of the anti-viral and anti-cancer activities of interferon

George R. Stark, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Cancer Biology
Research Focus: Interferons; JAK/STAT signaling; EGFR; NFkB; drug resistance; DNA repair; lung, breast, prostate brain cancer

Vinay Varadan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: Computational systems biology approaches to discover novel biomarkers of therapy response; integrating multi-scale and multi-omics measurement technologies to decode chemotherapy resistance mechanisms in triple-negative breast cancer

Bingcheng Wang, PhD
Professor, Nephrology and Hypertension
Research Focus: Understanding mechanisms driving infiltrative invasion of brain tumor stem cells responsible for poor prognosis; developing therapeutic agents that stop the invading tumor stem cells on their tracks

Aaron Weinberg, DMD, PhD
Professor, Biological Sciences
Research Focus: Fusobacterium in human colon cancer

Jordan Winter, MD
Associate Professor, Surgery
Research Focus: Pancreatic cancer cell survival in the harsh tumor microenvironment. Exploiting cancer cell metabolism as therapy for pancreatic cancer, specifically isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and mitochondrial biology.

Sichun Yang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Research Focus: Drug resistance and novel allosteric inhibitors for ER-positive breast cancer therapeutics

Vivien Yee, PhD
Associate Professor, Biochemistry
Research Focus: Biomedically important proteins and enzymes with interesting mechanistic questions with a focus on proteins involved in drug metabolism, neurodegenerative disorders, antiviral defense, or are model systems for metabolic enzymes

Jennifer Yu, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Glioblastoma cancer stem cells, DNA repair, radiotherapy.

Youwei Zhang, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology
Research Focus: Chk1, 53BP1 regulation of DSB repair and chromosome stability

Saba Valadkhan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Research Focus: Non-coding RNAs in disease, and in metastasis progression

Cancer Computational or Population Biology

Gurkan Bebek, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nutrition
Research Focus: Systems biology approaches to discover clinically-relevant cellular and molecular networks underlying cancer risk, initiation, progression and treatment response

Gregory Cooper, MD
Professor, Gastroenterology
Research Focus: Screening, early detection and surveillance for gastrointestinal cancers including  the use of population-based datasets and interventions in high-risk populations

Seth Corey, MD, MPH
Staff, Cancer Biology
Research Focus: Leukemia and cancer predisposition syndromes to determine the molecular basis of neoplasia and cancer cell evolution

Thomas LaFramboise, PhD
Associate Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Research Focus: Developing and applying computational tools to identify molecular variants - both inherited and somatic - that contribute to cancer in humans. Microbiome in cancer

Richard Lee, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Exploring both patients’ and clinicians’ perspectives about supportive and integrative services. Anticancer activities of natural plants in order to develop new cancer treatments

Sarah Markt, ScD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Research Focus: Molecular, lifestyle, and clinical epidemiology to study risk factors for initiation and progression of cancer to translate research findings into direct application for cancer prevention

Fredrick Schumacher, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Research Focus: Prostate cancer; deciphering the inherited genetic architecture of complex traits, assessing the shared genetic etiology of complex phenotypes to elucidate the underlying biology, and ascertaining the clinical impact of inherited genetics

Jacob Scott, MD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Evolution of pathogens (bacteria and viruses causing disease) and cancer using a combination of experimental evolution and mathematical/computational methods

Erika Trapl, PhD
Associate Professor, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Research Focus: Potential impact of regulating flavor in tobacco products on youth and young adult perceptions, abuse liability, and substitutability of other products, such as e-cigarettes

Experimental Therapeutics

Paolo Caimi, MD
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Investigator-initiated clinical trials; AML relapse after stem cell transplant; lymphoma

Chris G. Dealwis, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology
Research Focus: Developing anticancer drugs that target ribonucleotide reductase using structure‚ AI-based drug design

Amar Desai, PhD
Assistant Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: Identifying mechanisms driving the regenerative capacity of hematopoietic stem cells during bone marrow transplantation, in order to develop novel therapeutics capable of reducing morbidity, mortality, and expense of human bone marrow transplants

Stanton L. Gerson, MD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) survival, drug resistance and leukemic transformation; targeting DNA repair pathways can enhance the anti-cancer effect of DNA damaging agents; stem cells and DNA repair

Chao-Pin Hsiao, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, Nursing
Research Focus: Molecular-genetic mechanisms of cancer-related fatigue; stress responses, symptoms, symptom distress, and symptom self-management in localized prostate cancer

Alex Huang, MD, PhD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Pediatric hematology-oncology; tumor immunology and immune-mediated cancer therapy

Vijay Krishna, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: Nanotechnology-based approaches for non-invasive, cancer treatment and prevention

John Letterio, MD
Professor, Pediatrics
Research Focus: Adolescent and young adult cancers; drug discovery and preclinical development; targeting CDK5 and TGF-beta to alter PD-L1 and PD-1 expression

Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD
Professor, Translational Hematology and Oncology Research
Research Focus: Molecular disease mechanisms of bone marrow failure syndromes, including myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)

Folashade Otegbeye, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Ex-vivo manipulation of donor natural killer cells to produce sufficient therapeutic cell doses and highly activated/cytotoxic cells for infusion

John Pink, PhD
Assistant Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: Novel drug development for cancer therapy, focusing on inhibitors of DNA repair and metabolism, cancer clinical trial correlative studies

Reshmi Parameswaran, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Cell therapy for various hematological malignancies using Natural Killer (NK) cells; development of novel therapeutic trials

Yogen Saunthararajah, MD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Molecular targets for p53-independent, non-cytotoxic cancer therapy

Horst von Recum, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Use of polymer drug delivery systems which can be reloaded after implantation; exploring the use of this platform for recurrent or chemoresistant tumors

David Wald, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology
Research Focus: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), cancer model systems and drug development

Zhenghe (John) Wang, PhD
Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Research Focus: Novel therapeutic approaches to target PIK3CA-mutant colorectal cancers

Mei Zhang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Nanomedicine and cancer immunotherapy.  Biomolecules modulating tumor microenvironment via priming innate immunity. Goal is to develop enhanced immunotherapy for solid tumor cancers with metastatic disease

Cancer Genetics

Nathan Berger, MD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: GI malignancies; obesity and aging-related cancers

J. Mark Brown, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine
Research Focus: lipid metabolism; lipoprotein metabolism; microenvironment; high fat diet-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

Amitabh Chak, MD
Professor, Gastroenterology
Research Focus: Genetics of Familial Barrett's Esophagus

Jeffery Coller, PhD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: Regulation of mRNA degradation and translation

Stephen Fink, PhD
Assistant Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: Colon cancer biomarker discovery; targeting 15-PGDH in colorectal cancer prognosis, prediction, prevention, and treatment

Kishore Guda, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Focus: Translational oncology research focusing on gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies with an overarching goal of impacting clinical practice via developing evidence-based biomarkers and targeted therapies for aggressive GI cancers

Ahmad Khalil, PhD
Assistant Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Research Focus: Long intergenic non-coding (linc)RNAs as that contribute to cancer initiation, progression and metastasis

Byron Lee, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Surgery
Research Focus: Bladder cancer; understanding how gene mutations influence bladder cancer initiation, progression, and response to therapy

Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD
Professor, Medicine
Research Focus: GI SPORE; Colon cancer genetics; 15-PGDH

Brian P. Rubin, MD, PhD
Professor, Anatomic Pathology
Research Focus: Genetics and biology of sarcomas with particular interest in identification and validation of therapeutic biomarkers and targets

Peter Scacheri, PhD
Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences
Research Focus: Novel methods for analysis of gene enhancers, predict drug response in colon cancers

Derek Taylor, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology
Research Focus: Induction of cancer cell death by telomerase-mediated DNA misincorporation

Joseph Willis, MD
Professor, Pathology
Research Focus: Genetics of colon carcinogenesis; somatic mutation differences between colon cancers in African Americans and Caucasian Americans

Imaging

James Basilion, PhD
Professor, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Program Leader Cancer Imaging; Molecular imaging and development of novel imaging probes and paradigms to image cancers non-invasively and in real-time

Agata A. Exner, PhD
Professor, Radiology
Research Focus: Nanobubble ultrasound contrast agents for cancer imaging and therapy; molecular detection of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) for detection and biopsy guidance in prostate cancer, imaging vascular permeability, local drug therapy with injectable polymer implants

Chris A. Flask, PhD
Associate Professor, Radiology
Research Focus: Development of new preclinical and clinical imaging acquisition and analysis techniques to assess brain, breast, lung, and kidney cancers in vivo; development of novel optical and radionuclide imaging techniques to assess the delivery and efficacy of gene editing strategies

Mark A. Griswold, PhD
Professor, Radiology
Research Focus: Magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF); Imaging hardware design and optimization

Zheng-Rong Lu, PhD
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Design and development of novel contrast agents MRI; imaging tumor microenvironment

Anant Madabhushi, PhD, MS
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Applying artificial intelligence, computational imaging, machine learning, pattern recognition, radiomics and pathomic approaches to radiographic and pathology images to identify disease presence and to predict disease aggressiveness, outcome and treatment response

Pallavi Tiwari, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Machine learning and artificial intelligence methods using MRI scans for different applications in brain tumors

Satish Viswanath, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Research Focus: Novel medical image analytics (radiomics) and machine learning tools for disease diagnosis, intervention, and treatment evaluation