Oncology, infectious disease and immunology studies presented at Loyola poster session

Forty-nine scientific studies were presented during a research night sponsored by the Oncology Research Institute and Infectious Disease and Immunology Research Institute of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Two researchers from each research institute were awarded prizes for the best poster presentations.

Winning posters from the Oncology Research Institute are:


  • “COMPASS-like coactivator complex regulation of the bantam miRNA enhancer,” by David Ford, a PhD student in the lab of  Andrew Dingwall, PhD. "The genes we study recently have been discovered to be among the most frequently mutated genes in a large variety of cancers, including breast, uterine, bladder, stomach, lung, melanoma, lymphoma, and some leukemias,” Mr. Ford explained. “These critically important genes function to guide proper development and cell metabolism. Our research findings, using a combination of genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques, will provide insights into the roles of these genes in healthy cells and tumors, and aid in the generation of novel therapeutics." 
  • “Receptor targeting in drug-resistant breast cancer,” by Andrew Baker, a PhD student in the lab of Clodia Osipo, PhD.  “Our work focuses on targeting receptors that allow breast cancer cells to become resistant to first-line therapies,” Mr. Baker explained. “These receptors enable breast cancer cells to become increasingly aggressive in tumor formation and metastasis.”


Winning posters from the Infectious Disease and Immunology Research Institute are:


  • “A novel role for umbilical cord blood monocytes in inducing CD4 and CD8 regulatory T Cells,” by Jessica Lee, a MD/PhD student in the lab of Makio Iwashima, PhD. “We examined why newborns have a weak immune system, and found a group of cells that prevent immune responses,” Ms. Lee explained. “Understanding how these cells work may help develop better vaccines for infants and may improve therapies for unwanted immune responses such as autoimmune diseases.” 
  • “Mechanisms by which commensal exopolysaccharides limit inflammation,” by Mallory Paynich, a PhD student in the lab of Katherine Knight, PhD.  “We have identified a probiotic molecule that might be used to prevent traveler’s diarrhea and other forms of colitis, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease,” Ms. Paynich explained. “We now are designing similar therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of other human diseases.”


The work of the four winners, like that of other researchers who presented posters, “highlights the strong science being conducted at Loyola,” said Michael I. Nishimura, PhD, who co-directs the Oncology Research Institute along with Patrick Stiff, MD.

The Infectious Disease and Immunology Research Institute is directed by James Cook, MD, and Adam Driks, PhD.

The mission of the Oncology Research Institute is to support research in the mechanisms of cancer. The mission of the Infectious Disease and Immunology Research Institute is to understand interactions between microbes and the immune system, and to translate this knowledge to the treatment, control and prevention of diseases caused by human infectious agents.