2013 OSB Grants
Nemanja Rodic, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow and housestaff in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, is working in the Burns lab to understand the role of Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1) in ovarian neoplasms. LINE-1 repeat sequences have traditionally been considered “junk DNA” and have been understudied in human disease; however, recent evidence suggests this mobile DNA may play roles in many human cancers. Specifically, LINE-1 expression and genomic insertions of LINE-1 in tumors can potentiate genetic changes that activate oncogenic pathways and inactivate tumors suppressors. Dr. Rodic will study LINE-1 expression in ovarian cancers and identify new genomic LINE-1 insertions in ovarian cancer patients.
Yu Yu, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Yu has always been passionate about studying novel therapeutic targets in cancer research. She will examine the role of spleen tyrosine kinase that is highly upregulated in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, the most common and aggressive type of ovarian cancer. One of the reasons for its dismal outcome is due to recurrent disease as a result of chemoresistance. The goal of her study is to investigate the potential of targeting spleen tyrosine kinase as an effective strategy against this disease.