Dr. Amanda Winters, Assistant Professor for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT with the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital Colorado, was awarded the ACS Clinician Scientist Development Grant, a 3-year career development award, for her project titled: "Preclinical Validation of Personalized Molecular Assays for Measurable Residual Disease Monitoring in Pediatric AML."
The C2R2 Cancer Center Research Rangers program is an exploratory program for local middle school students to come to the CU Anschutz Campus to learn more about cancer research and the biomedical sciences through interactive programming and laboratory investigations. In addition, our programming includes important education related to cancer prevention and screening and the harmful effects of tobacco use.
On Friday June 23rd, 2023, CRTEC hosted an amazing group of students from the Challenge Foundation to educate them about cancer research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus through the Cancer Center Research Rangers (C2R2) program. The C2R2 program provides middle school students the opportunity to learn about cancer and cancer research through hands-on experiences.
C2R2 students got the opportunity to participate in interactive sessions, from seeing their own cells under a microscope to being able to see and touch lungs (simulated) that were affected by smoking. Through this program, C2R2 students learned about cancer basics, prevention, control and careers from highly experienced educators and researchers, Dr. Adela Cota Gomez, Dr. Kristin Schaller, Shawndra Fordham, Alexa Bauer, and Ben Kooiman.
Throughout the day, these amazing Rangers were very engaged and excited to learn from these experts, as well as participate in the hands-on activities. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for these Rangers, and they gained valuable knowledge that we hope will carry with them throughout their lives.
The kick off of the Cancer Center Student Symposium (C2S2) was a huge success as Cancer Center Director, Dr. Richard Schulick, presented on cancer, cancer careers, his path and commitment to fighting cancer, and the importance of finding a mentor to nearly 50 Colorado high school students. C2S2 was created by the CRTEC office to connect the CU - Cancer Center with Colorado high school students and teachers through a monthly virtual symposium on cancer-focused topics.
CC2STEM’s pilot cohort of students are finishing up a successful summer of research! Community College to STEM (CC2STEM) is a program that gives Community College of Aurora students the opportunity to have a high caliber mentored biomedical research experience. This program was founded by the CU-AMC Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Scientists (SACNAS), led by Katia Nino, PhD Candidate in the Molecular Biology Program and HHMI Gilliam Fellow, and is collaboratively funded by a CU-President’s DEI Award and the CRTEC office.
This year’s CC2STEM students are Shrostina Magar mentored by Dr. James DeGregory and Mariana Olono mentored by Dr. Eric Pietras. They are working with their mentors and lab teams to gain valuable experience in the biomedical sciences. CRTEC will continue to work with the SACNAS student chapter to secure external funding to expand this already amazing program.
Eman Elsabbagh, MD, MSc, is a Pediatric Hem/Onc Fellow, Center of Cancer and Blood Disorders, Children’s Hospital Colorado, on the AMC. She was recently awarded a highly competitive grant from the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research to develop a “Universal T-Cell Receptor (TCR) Targeting Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia”. She will be working in the lab of Eduardo Davila.
This summer, high school students in grades 10-12 can partner with CU Anschutz faculty and graduate students to gain real-world laboratory experience through the CU Science Discovery Research Program while students in grades 7-9 can spend two weeks participating in a variety of hand-on STEM experiences as part of the CU Science Discovery Summer Camp. Registration is limited, sign up soon.
The 10-week American Cancer Society (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) internship program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center wrapped up in July. DICR is an ACS program that aims to support students from traditionally underrepresented minorities in cancer research and mentorship. CU Cancer Center members Jennifer Richer, PhD, professor of pathology in the CU School of Medicine, and John Tentler, PhD, associate professor of medical oncology, are co-leaders on the grant.
In February, we hosted around 100 local high school students to help them learn more about cancer research and cancer-related careers. Following an introduction to cancer presentation by John Tentler, PhD, students identified cancer-relevant genes during a DNA microarray lab hosted by the CRTEC office, participated in a simulated cancer-focused clinical trial designed and facilitated by Meredith Tennis, PhD, toured multiple cancer-research laboratories as well as shared resources facilities, and learned about cancer-related careers during a lunchtime career panel visit. It was a day filled with educational opportunities for students to connect their science understanding to relevant, cutting-edge science occurring right here at the CU Cancer Center.
This spring, five 2nd-year CU-SOM medical students received an amazing opportunity to present their cancer research nationally via the LaCamera Oncology Travel Awards (LaCOTA), thanks to funds generously donated by the LaCamera family specifically to support oncology training of CU-SOM medical students.
LaCOTA awards provided funding support for these medical scientists in training to present their research and participate in professional development activities at oncology-focused national conferences.
The five students who received the award in Spring 2023 were, Luis Barrientos, Jamie Burke, Bridget Foy, Sarah Shortall, and Caroline Walsh.
Through the LaCOTA program, these medical students had the opportunity to present at prestigious national conferences and gain valuable oncology training experience. Please join us in congratulating these future oncology medical scientists.
On April 22, more than 50 biomedical science students from Denver-area high schools came to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to tour the cancer research laboratories, learn about cancer from our world renowned cancer scientists, and explore the paths they can take towards a career in the biomedical sciences.
In collaboration with the CU-AMC student chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Scientists (SACNAS), CRTEC was awarded a CU-President’s DEI award to fund a pilot of the CC2STEM program which will offer a summer mentoring and research training experience to local community college students interested in investigating a future career in the biomedical sciences. The program is led-by Katia Nino, a graduate student Dr. Eric Pietras’ Lab, with administrative support and mentorship from CRTEC leaders and will begin in the summer of 2023. After the pilot year, CRTEC will seek external funding to continue and expand the program.
Recently, three second year University of Colorado School of Medicine students, Chiagoziem (Chi) Anigbogu, Luis Barrientos and Theresa Tafoya, presented their CU Oncology Summer Internship (OSI) research projects to a panel at the CU Cancer Center. The 6-week CU Oncology Summer Internship (OSI) at the CU Cancer Center, is an immersive, paid summer internship for rising second year medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine (UIM). The internship features shadowing, education, networking and mentoring experiences designed to help students explore their interests in oncology, patient care and careers as an oncologist. Based on the success of this internship we plan to expand the program to include more students next year and going forward.
The CU Oncology Summer Internship (OSI) program was happy to welcome Ferdos Abdulkader and Mustafa Saeed into the 2023 program. Mentored by Dr John Tentler and Dr. Tejas Patil, the Interns worked hard and persevered; at the end of the internship, they were able to present their research projects:
Project: Immunotherapy outcomes in KRAS NSCLC who are never smokers
Project: Incidence and outcomes of patients with large-cell neuroendocrine or sarcomatoid lung carcinoma with driver oncogenes
The newly established PREP program aims to help prepare participants for admission to MD/PhD or PhD programs. Xander Bradeen, pictured along with his research mentor Dr. Eduardo Davila, is a member of the first cohort in the Preparation in Interdisciplinary Knowledge to Excel - Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PIKE-PREP) which offers a multi-dimensional mentoring and research training experience for post-baccalaureate students from underrepresented communities.
Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort are open until March 30th, 2023.
Congratulations to Dr. Eman Elsabbagh, MD, MSc. Dr. Elsabbagh is a Pediatric Hem/Onc Fellow in the Center of Cancer and Blood Disorders, Children’s Hospital Colorado, on the AMC. She is the recipient of the highly competitive St. Baldrick's Foundation Grant to develop a “Universal T-Cell Receptor (TCR) Targeting Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia”. St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds promising research aimed at treating childhood cancers globally. She is mentored by Dr. Eduardo Davila in Med-Onc.