The Annual Pathology Research Symposium Makes a Successful Return

By Lynn McCain | November 21 2022

Dr. Zaneta Nikolovska-ColeskaThe 21st Annual Pathology Research Symposium is in the books! Held on November 4, 2022, after a two-year break, this symposium featured lectures from Molecular and Cellular Pathology doctoral candidates, Michigan Medicine faculty, and visiting professors to offer attendees a broad view of molecular and cellular pathology research. Dr. Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, Associate Dean for Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies, and Director of the Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program kicked off the meeting, welcoming all the attendees to this long-awaited return of the Pathology Research Symposium.

Dr. James Olson presents Keynote LectureDoctoral candidates, Sanjana Eyunni, Brian Basinski, Agamjot Sangotra, and Pathology faculty Sethu Pitchiaya, PhD, and Darius Amjadi, MD, JD, each presented their research in the morning sessions. Following a brief break, it was time for the much-anticipated keynote lecture. “Protein and peptide therapeutics based on blueprints from nature”, presented by James Olson, MD, PhD, Professor of Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutch University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Olson presented a fascinating review of his work focusing on developing and advancing mini-proteins found in scorpion venom toxin and other natural sources as potential therapeutics, especially in the treatment of brain cancers in children.

The afternoon began with a delicious lunch and poster session where attendees mingled and discussed science, some forming potential collaborative relationships. More excellent presentations by doctoral candidates Mohammed Mire, Alec Chu, and Kristen Lozada-Soto followed. Alumnus Aaron Burberry, PhD, now an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University, returned and presented a lecture on “Neuro-immune-microbiota interactions in ALS.”

The symposium rounded out the presentations with a career panel composed of Drs. Olson, Burberry, Carmen Gherasim, Technical Director of the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, and Andrew Alt, Director of the Center for Chemical Genomics at the University of Michigan.

The afternoon concluded with an awards ceremony where the following awards were presented:

Outstanding Research Award - a competitive award intended to highlight the creativity and outstanding research achievements of MCP graduate students. This year, Derek Dang was the recipient of this award for his outstanding accomplishments and productivity, including NIH F31 fellowship.

Outstanding Service Award - to support our students’ service and community outreach activities and to prepare them to be active global citizens, the MCP Program introduced this award for the first time. This year, two students, Jessica Teitel and Derek Dang were presented with this award for their active involvement in the MCP, their commitment to DEI, and their outreach service.

Best Oral Presentation Award - Kristen Lozada-Soto for her presentation entitled: Claudin-23 Strengthens Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Function by Interacting with Tight Junction Claudins 3 and 4 at the Plasma Membrane.

Best Poster Awards - Sahiti Marella for her poster: IL-13-induced STAT3-dependent regulatory networks drive esophageal epithelial proliferation in Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Alexander Monovich for his poster: ETV6 Deficiency Drives Transcriptional Dysregulation in B-Lymphoblastic Leukemia through Microsatellite Enhancer Activation

Congratulations to all the awardees! Your hard work and preparation for this symposium were evident and these awards were well deserved.  Please be sure to view our gallery of moments captured during the event.