22nd Annual Molecular and Cellular Pathology Research Symposium Held November 3rd

By Anastazia Hartman | November 9 2023

On November 3rd in the Biomedical Science Research Building's Khan Auditorium, the 22nd Annual Pathology Research Symposium began. This year the symposium featured lectures, panel, and poster sessions from a variety of individuals from the Molecular and Cellular Pathology program, including Department of Pathology faculty, Michigan Medicine staff, and visiting professor and keynote speaker Charles Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD Department of Pathology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

To start the event, Ismael Cabrera, MBBS, MSc, Koral Campbell, BS, and Joanna Lum, BS, MCP doctoral candidates and this year's moderators, welcomed attendees to the event.  The event officially kicked off with MCP Directors Drs. Simon Hogan and Jean Francois (Jeff) Rual introducing the first speaker of the day, Dr. Sriram Venneti, MD, PhD. As well as Dr. Venneti, Drs. Asma Nusrat, MD, and Jennifer Brazil, PhD, represented the Department of Pathology's faculty. Doctoral Candidates Gabrielle Rozumek, BScChristian Rizza, BSc, and Noah Puleo, BSc each presented their research showcasing the breadth and depth of their respective labs. Dr. Charles Mullighan

Keynote speaker Dr. Charles Mullighan gave the audience a fascinating lecture on “Acute leukemia at the intersection of genomics and cell of origin.” where he described the research his lab is doing by leveraging genomic technologies to help discover advances in cancer diagnosis and therapy.

The day-long symposium rounded out the presentations with a career panel composed of keynote speaker Dr. Charles Mullighan, MCP Alumni and Co-Founder of Strata Oncology, Scott Tomlins, MD, PhD, Michigan Medicine Research and Policy Media Relations Director, Kara Gavin, MS, and U-M Education Director of STPP, Julie Berson-Grand, MPH, PhD. These panelists, moderated by Dr. Simon Hogan presented MCP students with career tips, insights into their career paths, and more.Dr. Simon Hogan, Dr. Scott Tomlins, Dr. Charles Mullighan, Kara Gavin, Julie Berson-Grand

Before the event concluded, an award ceremony celebrated the achievements of the MCP students who participated throughout the day. The following awards were presented:

Outstanding Research Award - awarded to an MCP graduate student for their creativity and outstanding research achievements. This year, Sahiti Marella (Hogan Lab) was the recipient of this award for her research accomplishments and her work on IL-13-induced STAT3 dependent signaling networks regulate esophageal epithelial proliferation in eosinophilic esophagitis.

Outstanding Service Award - awarded to a student who helps serve not only the U-M community but local communities as well. This year, the second annual Outstanding Service Award went to Gabrielle Rozumek for her work with students who will be first-generation college students and getting them involved in science research.

Best Oral Presentation Award Gabrielle Rozumek (Prasov Lab) was also awarded the Best Oral Presentation Award for her talk on “Unlocking the Secrets of Small Eyes: Using a Humanized Mouse Model Eye Size Disorders”. 

Best Undergraduate Poster - Varun Ponnusamy (Shah lab), Mineralocorticoid Receptor: A Novel Tumor Suppressor in Colorectal Cancer

Best Postdoc Poster - Aishwarya Gurumurthy (Cieslik/Ryab labs), Functional Profiling identifies Selective Enhancer Dependencies in MYC-Intact and MYC-Rearranged Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Best Non-MCP Graduate Student Poster - Caleb Cheng (Lyssiotis/Chinnaiyan labs), Targeting PIKfyve to leverage metabolic vulnerabilities for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma therapy 

Best MCP Graduate Student Poster Derek Dang (Venneti lab), Investigating Metabolic Dependencies of Group 3 Medulloblastoma

Congratulations to all the awardees!