Junior Faculty

Grant Cycle III

2014-2018

Heather Cheng, MD, PhD
Cyrus Ghajar, PhD
Taran Gujral, PhD
A. M. Houghton, MD
Kayode K. Ojo, PhD
Michael Schweizer, MD
Alexander Wyatt, PhD

Grant Cycle II

2007-2013

Joshi Alumkal, MD
Parveen Bhatti, PhD
Robert K. Bradley, PhD
Heather Cheng, MD, PhD
Colin Collins, PhD
Liesel M. FitzGerald, PhD
John L. Gore, MD, MS
Norm Greenberg, PhD
Sarah K. Holt, PhD
Ming Lam, PhD
Daniel Lin, MD
Bruce Montgomery, MD
Colm Morrissey, PhD
Elahe Mostaghel, MD, PhD
Ulrike Peters, PhD
Colin Pritchard, MD, PhD
David Qian, PhD
Jay Shendure, MD, PhD
Alan So, MD
George Thomas, MD
Maria Tretiakova, MD, PhD
Funda Vakar-Lopez, MD
Jonathan Wright, MD, MS
Jennifer Wu, PhD
Evan Yu, MD
Amina Zoubeidi, PhD

 

Heather Cheng, MD, PhD Dr. Cheng earned her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and her M.D. (2007) and Ph.D. (2005) from the University of Washington as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed an Internal Medicine residency and an extended research-based fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Washington prior to joining the faculty of Medical Oncology where she is an Assistant Professor specializing in the treatment of cancers of the prostate, ladder and testes.
Dr. Cheng’s research interests include studying new treatments for prostate and bladder cancer through clinical trials, and understanding how to sequence the new drugs to maximize therapeutic benefit for patients. She is also studying blood-based cancer biomarkers, such as microRNAs, “which can hopefully predict whether a person’s prostate cancer is likely to be more or less aggressive,” she said, which may help determine “who might benefit from a certain treatment, and/or how well treatments are working.”

 

Cyrus Ghajar, PhD Dr. Ghajar graduated from Stanford University in 2002 with an MS in Materials Science, followed in 2006 with an MS in Biomedical Engineering from UC Irvine, where he also earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering (2008). This was followed by a fellowship in tumor biology at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Sciences Division. Dr. Ghajar is an Assistant Member in the Division of Public Health Sciences, Translational Research Program, where he directs the Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments (LSM2). The goal of Dr. Ghajar’s research program is to understand how microenvironments within distant tissues regulate dormancy and growth of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs), and whether these niches convey chemoresistance to dormant DTCs. His belief is that solving these puzzles will allow the development of therapeutic regimens that eradicate dormant DTCs before they can develop into full-blown metastases.

 

Michael Schweizer, MD Dr. Schweizer is a clinical-translational investigator specializing in prostate cancer early drug development. He earned his MD in 2008 from Temple University, followed by an internship/residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, and a Fellowship in Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. In 2014, Dr. Schweizer joined the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington as an Assistnat Professor of Internal Medicine. He is an Assistant Member in the Clinical Research Division, Solid Tumor Translational Research at Fred Hutch. Dr. Schweizer has a specific interest in precision medicine: seeking to explore the molecular events driving drug resistance and designing clinical trials to target these mechanisms.

 
Joshi Alumkal, MD (OHSU) received his medical degree in 1998 from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He was recruited as an Assistant Professor to OHSU and supported through the SPORE CDP in 2007. Dr. Alumkal studies epigenetic influences on prostate cancer development and progression, and he has identified DNA methylation patterns which are confined to cancers with high Gleason scores. He was selected to moderate the GU oral abstract session at the 2011 ASCO meeting and he has received a NIH KL2 Career Award and Clinical Trial and Scholar Awards from the Kuni Foundation.
Faculty Mentor: Tomasz Beer

 

Parveen Bhatti, PhD (FHCRC) received his PhD in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2006. The focus of Dr. Bhatti’s work is environmental and molecular epidemiology, and he has an interest in the field of prostate cancer. He joined the SPORE Career Development Program in 2008, as an assistant faculty member. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Stanford to launch a case-control study of prostate cancer in relation to circadian disruption due to shift work.
Faculty Mentor: Janet L. Stanford

 

Robert Bradley, PhD (FHCRC) is an Assistant Member/Professor, in the Divisions of Public Health and Basic Sciences at FHCRC, and joined the SPORE Career Development Program in 2012. Dr. Bradley obtained his PhD from UC Berkeley and post-doctoral training at MIT. He was awarded a prestigious Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation award in 2012. Dr. Bradley studies the mechanisms underlying alternative splicing of mRNAs to generate multiple distinct proteins. He has initiated studies to understand, and potentially target, the mechanisms by which the AR produces splice variants – a potentially important feature that contributes to castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Faculty Mentor: Steve Plymate

 

Colin Collins, PhD (UBC) is a Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia. He is an established independent investigator recruited to Vancouver from UCSF where his research program was broadly centered on translational genomics that included studies of breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers. His current research involves translational genomics where mathematics, genomics, computer science, and clinical science converge in diagnostics, prognostics, and therapeutics. His PNW Prostate SPORE CDP work which began in 2011, is designed to re-focus his studies on prostate cancer, and involves integrating array-based technologies and next-generation sequencing for personalized oncology.
Faculty Mentor: Martin Gleave

 

Heather Cheng, MD, PhD (FHCRC) earned her BS in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 1998 and completed her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2005 and MD from the UW School of Medicine in 2007. She then completed an Internal Medicine residency and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the University of Washington. Her post-doctoral research included work on circulating microRNAs as biomarkers for prostate cancer in the laboratory of Dr. Muneesh Tewari and clinical research with Dr. Evan Yu. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the division of Medical Oncology at UWSOM and Assistant Member in the Clinical Research Division of FHCRC.

Dr. Cheng’s goal is to become an independent clinical-translational researcher with expertise in prostate cancer and other genitourinary malignancies. She hopes to use new molecular biology methods such as evaluation of circulating microRNAs as markers to help distinguish between biologically distinct prostate cancer disease subtypes, and to make new descriptive and hypothesis-generating findings within the confines of well-designed clinical trials for correlative science. Dr. Cheng will use these findings to develop clinical trials that incorporate and validate the findings and advance patient care.
Faculty Mentor: Evan Yu

 

Liesel M. FitzGerald, PhD (FHCRC) received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Tasmania, Australia in 2007. The focus of Dr. FitzGerald’s work is in familial genetics and genetic epidemiology with a focus on the field of prostate cancer. She joined the SPORE Career Development Program as a post-doctoral fellow in 2007, and in 2009, she was appointed to Staff Scientist in the Division of Public Health Sciences, working with Drs. Janet Stanford, Elaine Ostrander (NHGRI) and Dan Schaid (Mayo) on the genetic epidemiology of hereditary and sporadic prostate cancer. In 2012, Dr. FitzGerald accepted a fellowship in epidemiology at Cancer Council Victoria in Australia.
FRCRC Faculty Mentor: Janet L. Stanford

 

John L. Gore, MD, MS (UW) graduated summa cum laude in chemistry and biology from the University of Minnesota, and earned his MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX in 2001. He completed his general and urologic surgery training at UCLA. Subsequently, Dr. Gore was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, training in health services research with a focus on quality of care, quality of life, and advanced econometric methods. During this time, he earned his Masters of Science in Health Services (MSHS) from UCLA. Currently, Dr. Gore is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Urology, is co-Director of the SPORE Clinical Core, and is also co-director of UroSCOAP, a regional urological quality collaborative in Washington State which aims to improve prostate cancer care regionally. Dr. Gore is one of only a handful of physician-scientists in the United States who are clinically trained in urologic oncology and fellowship trained in Health Services Research. Dr. Gore has focused his research on studying issues of access to care and quality of care for patients with urologic cancers. Dr. Gore joined the SPORE Career Development Program in 2009.
Faculty Mentors: Daniel W. Lin, Hunter Wessells

 

Norm Greenberg, PhD (FHCRC) is internationally known for his work to characterize the initiation, progression, and metastasis of spontaneous prostate cancer utilizing novel genetically engineered mouse (GEM) model systems. Working with a small team of collaborators, Dr. Greenberg was first to develop an expression system to enable genetic perturbation studies in the prostate that created a series of transgenic and conditional GEM systems including the well-known TRAMP prostate cancer mouse model and derivative cell lines. His large group was recruited to FHCRC from Baylor College of Medicine in 2004 with the support of the PNW Prostate Cancer SPORE. While at FHCRC, he was a vital senior member of the prostate group, both scientifically and administratively.
Faculty Mentor: Peter Nelson

 

Sarah Holt, PhD (FHCRC) was appointed as a Staff Scientist in the Division of Public Health Sciences at FHCRC in 2008. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington and post-doctoral training (2006) in Molecular Epidemiology at FHCRC. Her research has been recognized by a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Dr. Holt’s research focus centers on studies of germline genetic variation and associations with prostate cancer risk or outcomes, and includes exploring both gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. In 2012, Dr. Holt moved to the University of Washington, Department of Urology as a Research Analyst.
Faculty Mentor: Janet Stanford

 

Ming Lam, PhD (UW) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Washington Medical Center, and received an award from the SPORE Career Development Program in 2012. Dr. Lam received her PhD in Biochemistry in 2006 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and recently completed post-doctoral training in Dr. Shuk-Mei Ho’s laboratory in the Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Her research focuses on studies of an orphan nuclear hormone receptor, GPR30 in prostate cancer and also the role of estrogens. She recently received a highly prestigious Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award.
Faculty Mentor: Robert Vessella

 

Daniel Lin, MD (UW) received his MD in 1994 from Vanderbilt University and completed his residency at the University of Washington in Seattle before completing his urologic oncology training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City. In 2002, he was recruited back to UW/FHCRC with the help of institutional and SPORE resources. Dr. Lin immediately received research support from the American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) to define the role of a novel prostate-specific protein, Prostate-Specific Dehydrogenase/Reductase 1, in prostate cancer. These studies led to the discovery that PSDR1 was a retinaldehyde reductase that is involved in retinoid homeostasis. (J Biol Chem 277:28909-15, 2002). Subsequently, Dr. Lin assumed co-PI of Dr. Stanford’s SPORE Project 1 with the departure of Dr. David Penson. Later, he and Dr. Bruce Montgomery developed and obtained funding for a 30-site, phase III randomized study of adjuvant chemotherapy vs. standard of care for patients with high-risk prostate cancer after prostatectomy (VA Cooperative Study Protocol #553). This study was initiated in April 2006. Dr. Lin is now an Associate Professor and Director of Urologic Oncology at UWMC, and collaborates with Dr. William Bremner’s laboratory in the Department of Medicine (UW) examining intraprostatic androgens in several randomized clinical trials of androgen deprivation and testosterone replacement therapy. Dr. Lin has several ongoing collaborations with Fred Hutchinson investigators, mainly focused on the role of diet and nutritional supplement use on prostate carcinogenesis, specifically studying the molecular effects of these interventions in human studies.
Faculty Mentors: Janet Stanford, Paul H. Lange

 

Bruce Montgomery, MD (UW) received his MD from Duke University and completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before fellowship training at FHCRC in 2004. Areas which have been developed by Dr. Montgomery while supported by the SPORE Career Development Program are projects involving both chemotherapy and hormonal therapy in prostate cancer. Dr. Montgomery developed the phase III adjuvant study VA Cooperative Studies Program #553, Chemotherapy after Prostatectomy (CAP) with Dr. Dan Lin. This is a 30 center, phase III randomized study of adjuvant chemotherapy vs. standard of care for patients with high risk prostate cancer after prostatectomy. Dr. Montgomery has developed and is running three neoadjuvant studies prior to prostatectomy through the UWMC and VA hospital, all of which are primarily translational studies with tissue endpoints. These studies include a neoadjuvant study of androgen deprivation with IMC-A12 antibody to the insulin-like growth factor receptor prior to prostatectomy, and he is collaborating on this project with Drs. Stephen Plymate, James Dean, and Bill Ellis to further define the role of IGFR blockade in optimizing killing of prostate cancer. Dr. Montgomery is clinical PI of a phase II randomized study of the use of combined androgen suppression prior to prostatectomy in patients with intermediate to high-risk prostate cancer (UWMC and VA study). He is also the clinical PI for a neoadjuvant study of the histone deacetylase inhibitor SAHA with androgen deprivation prior to prostatectomy. This is a DOD and intraSPORE project headed by Dr. Howard Scher of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Dr. Montgomery has received funding with Dr. Ken Russell of Radiation Oncology for a neoadjuvant study of the 17,20 lyase inhibitor abiraterone prior to radiation therapy. This study will define means of optimizing suppression of intracrine androgen production by prostate cancer to improve radiation effect and treat micrometastatic disease. Dr. Montgomery collaborates with Drs. Vessella, Mostaghel and Nelson on the definition of intraprostatic production of androgens in human prostate xenograft models and testing preclinical models for interrupting androgen signaling.
Faculty Mentor: Peter Nelson

 

Colm Morrissey, PhD (UW) received his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center, New York and University College Dublin, Ireland in 2000. Over the last several years, Dr. Morrissey has worked on prostate cancer bone metastasis. He joined the SPORE CDP in 2007 as a postdoctoral fellow with outstanding potential. This work included laser capture microdissection and gene expression arrays of prostate cancer metastases, co-culture systems to study the interactions of prostate cancer cells with osteoblasts and osteoclasts, intra-tibial prostate cancer models, and the pathology of late stage disease. In September, 2010, Dr. Morrissey accepted a position as a Research Assistant Professor in the UW Urology Department focusing on prostate cancer bone metastasis. Dr. Morrissey’s efforts have been very successful. He is a co-investigator on an NIH ARRA Challenge grant entitled ‘Profiling and Characterizing Prostate Cancer Tumor Dormancy in the Bone Marrow’. The major goal of this project is to advance our understanding of tumor cell dormancy in the bone marrow of patients with prostate cancer. He has also recently received a Royalty Research Fund grant to initiate preclinical development of Artemisinin derivatives for prostate cancer.
Faculty Mentor: Robert Vessella

 

Elahe Mostaghel, MD, PhD (FHCRC) was a CDP senior post-doctoral fellow from 2004 to 2006. Dr. Mostaghel’s SPORE CDP project focused on understanding the mechanisms contributing to prostate cancer progression following androgen deprivation and has found evidence for intracrine androgen synthesis and active transport. Her studies involved collaborations between several of the PNW SPORE investigators including Drs. Gleave, Vessella, True, Montgomery and Plymate. Her results have led to the development of a clinical trial targeting resistance mechanisms to AR-directed therapy. Dr. Mostaghel is now an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology, FHCRC/UW. She has received an NCI K23 Career Development Award, a Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, and two research grants from the DOD prostate cancer research program. She has published 18 articles from her SPORE-related work.
Faculty Mentor: Peter Nelson

 

Ulrike Peters, PhD (FHCRC) is a Full Member in the Cancer Prevention Program at FHCRC Division of Public Health, with a joint appointment at the University of Washington, Department of Epidemiology. She is trained as a nutritional epidemiologist (University of Kiel, Germany and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and received additional training in genetic epidemiology during her post-doctoral fellowship at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI. Her research interest is primarily in nutritional prevention of prostate and colorectal cancers, with a focus on molecular and genetic epidemiology. Her studies focus on the impact of common variations in genes of nutritional pathways, either alone or in combination with diet (gene-diet interactions), on risk of prostate and colorectal cancers using candidate gene and genome-wide association studies. In addition to questionnaire data, she aims to applying molecular tools to assess dietary exposures and intermediate biomarkers into epidemiological studies. During her post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Peters became increasingly aware of the limited understanding of the etiology of prostate cancer, along with the possibility that nutritional factors may play an important role in prostate cancer prevention. She received a SPORE pilot grant in 2004 to explore the usability of selenoenzymes mRNA expression in prostate tissue in existing epidemiological studies. This pilot study supported her successful application for a Transition Career Development Award (K22) in Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavior and Population Sciences, which she received on the first submission. Furthermore, Dr. Peters was able to secure funding to continue her work on selenium, vitamin D and calcium in colorectal cancer as well as a genome-wide association study through two R01s and one R03. She is the PI on all three grants. In 2009, Dr. Peters was among 100 researchers to receive the nation’s highest honor for scientists at the beginning of their independent research careers, the Presidential Early Career Award.
Faculty Mentor: Janet Stanford

 

Colin Pritchard, MD, PhD (UW) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, UWMC. Dr. Pritchard received his MD, PhD in the UW’s MCB program, and his residency training in pathology/lab medicine at UW. He joined the SPORE Career Development Program in 2012. His current research involves the study of microRNAs as biomarkers of cancer. He also focuses on molecular diagnostics, and he will be participating in the recently awarded SU2C study assessing genome-guided ‘precision medicine’ for prostate cancer. Faculty Mentor: Peter Nelson

 

David Qian, PhD (OHSU) graduated from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2002. Between 2002 and 2006, he completed postdoctoral training at Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, where he specialized in prostate cancer targeted therapy, and drug development. In 2006, he was promoted to the faculty rank, and continued his research of tumor hypoxia and angiogenesis in the laboratory of Dr. Gregg Semenza at Johns Hopkins Institute of Cell Engineering. He joined OHSU in July of 2007 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the division of Hematology Medical Oncology, and subsequently joined the SPORE Career Development Program. His research includes identifying the response and resistance mechanism of chemotherapy in prostate cancer, and he continues his research focus on identifying novel mechanism and subsequent therapeutic strategies combating prostate cancer chemoresistance.
Faculty Mentor: Tomasz Beer

 

Jay Shendure, MD, PhD (UW) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Shendure trained in the laboratory of George Church, and developed technologies instrumental in the construction of next-generation sequencing. He is an early career investigator and new to the prostate cancer field. His work has focused on applying next-generation sequencing approaches for identifying causes of rare genetic diseases as well as developing new methods for high-throughput genome analysis. He joined the PNW Prostate SPORE CDP in 2011, and his SPORE studies center on identifying germline and somatic alterations that associate with prostate cancer development, progression, and therapy resistance.
Faculty Mentor: Pete Nelson

 

Alan So, MD (UBC) was a SPORE fellow (2007) in Vancouver and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia and Research Scientist at the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. Dr. So’s research focuses on the study of development of novel therapeutics for bladder cancer and determination of the functional role of GLI1/2 in the progression of prostate cancer to its lethal stage of androgen independence. During his post-doctoral fellowship he published more than 10 peer-reviewed papers. He is a recipient of many awards, including the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation’s “In It for Life” Clinician Scientist Award, an ASCO “Young Scientist Award”, and a prestigious Michael Smith Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship Award. He has characterized the functional role of different survival genes (including clusterin and Hsp27) in different tumor models (prostate, breast, lung, and bladder) in cancer progression. He is active in clinical trials across Canada and is a member of National Cancer Institute of Cancer GU Clinical Trials Group and Canadian Uro-Oncology Group.
Faculty Mentor: Martin Gleave

 

George Thomas, MD (OHSU) received his Masters of Science in Medicine from University College Dublin, Ireland, and Residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. He trained at UCLA, where he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, and worked closely with Charles Sawyers developing mouse models of prostate cancer. He was subsequently recruited and promoted to Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Cell and Molecular Biology, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital in London, where his work focused on renal cell carcinoma. In 2010, Dr. Thomas was appointed as Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, OHSU and Member of the Knight Cancer Institute. His research program is centered on characterizing the molecular defects leading to prostate tumor formation, and secondly, in tumors where a molecular aberration has already been identified, developing the molecular assays to enable translation to the clinic. In 2011, Dr. Thomas joined the SPORE Career Development Program. His SPORE work is designed to re-focus his research on prostate cancer where he will develop immunohistochemical tools and methods for assessing signal transduction activity in the context of clinical trials of novel pathway-targeted agents.
Faculty Mentor: Tomasz Beer

 

Maria Tretiakova, MD, PhD (UW) graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Petersburg State Medical Academy, Russia, earning her MD in 1994 and her PhD in 1996. She then completed her Residency in Anatomic Pathology in 1997. A Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2000, and her Residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (2008-2012) were both completed at the University of Chicago. Dr. Tretiakova is currently an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Pathology, a Staff Pathologist at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center, and an Affiliate Investigator in the division of Human Biology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Most of Dr. Tretiakova’s previous research experience and expertise in prostate cancer has focused on studying histopathologic characteristics and cancer specific biomarkers that will have diagnostic and prognostic value, and is well reflected in dozens of peer-reviewed publications http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=tretiakova+m. Her recent appointment as a junior pathology faculty with membership in the Fred Hutchinson/UW Cancer Consortium provides a unique opportunity of collaborating with international leaders in the field of prostate cancer as well as leading projects in the role of genitourinary pathologist. Dr. Tretiakova is particularly interested in morphologic, immunohistochemical and molecular characteristics of prostate cancers preoperatively treated with novel promising anti-androgen agents; studies which are poised to have a major impact on the understanding of aggressive castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), the mechanisms of cancer progression and its outcomes.
Faculty Mentor: Charles E. Alpers

 

Funda Vakar-Lopez, MD (UW/HMC) received her medical degree in 1988 from the University of Instanbul, Turkey. Dr. Vakar-Lopez is an Assistant Professor at UW/Harborview Medical Center Pathology, and is an anatomic pathologist with an expertise in genitourinary pathology. More specifically her area of interest and experience is in prostate cancer diagnosis and research, providing pathology expertise (characterizing prostate tissue collected for research projects, grading prostate cancer and interpreting immunohistochemical stains) as a member of SPORE Core B. Dr. Vakar-Lopez joined the SPORE CDP in 2006.
Faculty Mentor: Lawrence True

 

Jonathan Wright, MD, MS (UW/FHCRC) received his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2001. In 2005 he received a Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Washington, School of Public Health. He completed his residency in Urology in 2007 after which he completed a fellowship in Urological Oncology. Dr. Wright joined the SPORE CDP in 2008, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Urology and has an appointment as an Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Wright’s research interests focus on risk factors for the development of prostate cancer and outcomes of patients with prostate cancer. He also mentors urology residents on several prostate cancer research projects, including positive surgical margins at radical prostatectomy; use of cryotherapy and brachytherapy in high risk prostate cancer; and examining predictors of pathologic upgrading at radical prostatectomy.
Faculty Mentors: Janet Stanford and Daniel Lin

 

Jennifer Wu, PhD (FHCRC) received her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of British Columbia in 1999. She subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in tumor-immunology at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center under the direction of Dr. Thomas Spies. During that time, Dr. Wu studied the role of the NK cell as part of the innate immune system for cancer prevention. She was a key player in defining the role of the NKG2D/mic system for prevention of cancer, and her resulting work appeared in Nature Medicine. In 2002, she joined Dr. Steve Plymate’s lab as a research instructor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. In 2005, she was appointed as an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Medicine. She joined the SPORE Career Development Program in 2007, where she was an active member of the Program in Prostate Cancer at FHCRC/UW and was solicited multiple-times as a member of DOD study sections on tumor immunology. Dr. Wu was recruited to an Associate Professor position at the University of South Carolina in 2011.
Faculty Mentor: Stephen Plymate

 

Evan Yu, MD (UW) is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, Department of Medical Oncology, and an Associate Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He received training in a clinical environment and also a basic science arena studying cancer biology at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This provided him with the foundation of scientific knowledge and experience to proceed as a physician-investigator, focusing on translational efforts to test novel therapeutics and discover unique cancer-related biomarkers. His approach to biomarkers includes serum, tissue, and imaging approaches. Dr. Yu collaborates with Dr. David Mankoff of Nuclear Medicine, to evaluate PET scans with novel radiotracers as prognostic, predictive, and response biomarkers. He is expanding his imaging focus to include magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a potential prostate cancer biomarker. He is also testing multiple novel agents that target multiple prostate cancer pathways involved in bone metabolism, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. His overall goal is to discover novel biomarkers with predictive clinical value that can help guide treatment and aid in the development of novel therapeutics for patients with prostate cancer. Dr. Yu joined the SPORE Career Development Program in 2007, and is currently co-Director of the SPORE Clinical Core.
Faculty Mentor: David Mankoff

 

Amina Zoubeidi, PhD (UBC) began working as a post-doctoral fellow in the University of British Columbia laboratory of Dr. Martin Gleave in January, 2005. She was a SPORE fellow in 2006 and continued in that role until 2009, when she was recruited to the Vancouver Prostate Centre as a research scientist, and was subsequently appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at UBC. Dr. Zoubeidi’s ongoing research efforts focus on signal transduction mediated regulation of prostate cancer progression, with emphasis on the importance of heat shock proteins and kinases, and applying that research to develop and investigate novel therapeutic strategies to fight advanced prostate cancer.
Faculty Mentor: Martin Gleave