Awardees & Updates – 2018

2018 FWW Research Award

The Role of X Chromosome Inactivation in Breast Cancer

Immunotherapy is an important area of focus for cancer treatment, however most of these treatments still only analyze the non-sex chromosomes when developing regions for targeted treatment. This research will include the X chromosome, a hotspot for immune-related genes, and will narrow down the regions that show DNA content and gene expression on the X chromosome in breast cancers to showcase both patient-specific targets, potential shared targets across breast cancers and variables in sub-type of breast cancers. According to Dr. Wilson Sayres, the X chromosome has been largely understudied in genomics analyses and is likely a huge determinant of sex differences in cancer incidence and progression.

Melissa A. Wilson Sayres, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the School of Life Sciences and Center for Evolution & Medicine at Arizona State University. She is trained as an evolutionary and computational biologist specializing in cancer genetics.

2018 Research Award

Eradicating Dormant Breast Cancer Cells to Prevent Cancer Recurrence.

Dormant micrometastatic breast cancer cells often persist undetected in the body after treatment for breast cancer. This puts women at risk for developing recurrent or metastatic tumors that are treatment resistant. Eliminating these dormant cancer cells could prevent such recurrence. This study will test five pre-clinical drug agents for effectiveness in reducing the number of dormant cancer tumor cells.

Todd Miller, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular & Systems Biology at Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine where he is also the Scientific Director of Comprehensive Breast Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the Co-Director of the Molecular Tumor Board. Dr. Miller’s main research focus is on dissecting mechanisms of drug resistance in solid tumors, particularly in estrogen receptor positive breast cancers.