March 15, 2002

VICC recognizes poster contest winners

Featured Image

Dr. Barbara Murphy consults with Dr. Brian Burkey, a surgeon, about a patient. Murphy and radiation oncologist Dr. Anthony Cmelak hold clinic with the surgeons, increasing options for patients. (photo by Dana Johnson)

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and three of its research programs awarded 15 cash prizes last week to graduate students, post-docs, residents and fellows in the 2002 VICC Scientific Retreat Poster Contest.

The event capped off a daylong event highlighted by a series of presentations about the ErbB family of receptors and its important role in cancer. This complicated signaling network includes eight different ligands and four receptors which combine into various heterodimers (two-part combinations on the cell surface to which the ligands bind to send signals to the cell’s nucleus). Work to understand and intervene in this network has promising implications for targeted therapies for a variety of tumors, including breast, lung and colon cancer.

Guest speakers included Nancy Hynes, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Privat Dezent at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland; and Antony Burgess, Ph.D., director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne, Australia. Hynes discussed her work focused on the control of cell proliferation, particularly the role of ErbB-dependent signaling pathways in breast cancer. Burgess outlined work to crystallize the epidermal growth factor receptor bound by transforming growth factor alpha into a three-dimensional structure.

Winners of $100 cash prizes for their posters were Dana Brantley, Julissa Corredor, Nancy Dumont, Evangeline Easterly, Erin Eaton and Linda Bundy, Nalo Hamilton, Jamie Hearnes, W. Keither Merritt, Chang-Yuan Ni, Keiko Takahashi, Tracy Vargo-Gogola, Mai Wang, Kristin Whitson, Zhixong Xu, and Li Yang.