Skip to main content
close menu
close menu

Search UK HealthCare

Trainee Highlights

UK Markey Cancer Center’s Oncology Career Enhancement Program provides education opportunities, experiences and extensive research training to students ranging from the high school to postdoctoral level. The program is committed to the center’s mission to reduce cancer incidence and mortality within Kentucky through research innovation. Career development activities offer participants diverse research perspectives and the opportunity to engage in immersive training.

See below to view the latest trainee highlights across our program. Learn more about career enhancement opportunities by visiting our Education homepage.

  • Fellowships and Grants

    Jacqueline Rivas, Postdoctoral Fellow in Bondada lab: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Career Development Fellowship for her project entitled “Enhancing Antitumor Immunity in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia by Blocking Tumor Derived Interleukin” and NCI Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellows F32 Award.

    Rebekah Eleazer, Graduate Student in Fondufe-Mittendorf lab:  2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award.

    Ashley Stevens, Graduate Student in Gao lab: 2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award.

    Ryan DeCoster, Postdoctoral Fellow mentored by Evers, Vasconez and T. Butterfield: Plastic Surgery Foundation $10,000 pilot award for a project entitled “The Biomechanical Effects of Deferoxamine on Irradiated Soft Tissue.”

  • Awards and Recognitions

    James Castle, Postdoctoral Scholar in He lab, was awarded the 2019 Top Cancer Health Disparities Abstract Award at the 43rd Annual American Society of Preventive Oncology Conference.

    Caroline Smith, Graduate Student in Blackburn lab, was elected as one of four new members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Associate Member Council and will serve a three year term with the organization from 2019-2022.  Caroline was also selected for a Travel Award to attend the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) 2019 Annual Meeting.

    Aria Byrd, Graduate Student in Brainson lab, received an AACR Minorities in Cancer Research Travel Award for the 2019 Annual Meeting.

    James Drury, Graduate Student in Zaytseva lab, was awarded the Judges Choice Award for the 1-Minute Pitch Your Poster Competition at the Spring 2019 CCTS Conference at UK.

    Patrick Hensley, Medical Resident mentored by Kyprianou, won First Place in the Montague Boyd Essay Competition, Southeast Section of 2019 American Urological Association Annual Meeting for his work entitled “Novel Immunohistochemical Signatures Predict Response of Bladder Cancer to Cisplatin-Based Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.”

    Millicent Horn, Medical Student mentored by Chauhan, won the clinical research poster competition at American College of Physicians (ACP) Internal Medicine National Conference in April 2019.  She was also recognized as an ACP Young Achiever.

    Stephanie Bryant Rock, Graduate Student in Evers lab, received an American Gastroenterological Association Student Abstract Award for her oral presentation at Digestive Disease Week in May 2019.

    Julia Schulz, Graduate Student in Bjorn lab, received “Best in Show” recognition at the 2019 UK College of Pharmacy Rho Chi Research Day for her poster entitled “Dual PI3K/Akt Inhibition to Overcome Blood-Brain Barrier P-glycoprotein and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein.”  Julia was also awarded an $800 Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program Student Travel Award and the Dr. Joseph V Swintosky, PhD $500 Travel Scholarship Award for the 2019 Cerebral Vascular Biology Meeting.

    James Wise, Graduate Student in Shi lab, received a Cell Analysis Travel Award to present at The Society of Toxicology Meeting in March 2019.

    Justin Gorski, Postdoctoral Fellow in Kolesar lab, received "Best Overall Poster Presentation" at the OncLive National Fellows Forum: GynOnc in June 2019 for his poster entitled "Antineoplastic Activity of Artesunate in Ovarian Cancer".

    Reiya Hayden, Graduate Student in Leggas lab, was awarded the Delores C. Shokley Award for receiving first place in a poster competition at the EB/ASPET 2019 meeting.

  • 2018-2019 MCC Trainee Travel Award Winners

    Zin Myint, Medical Fellow mentored by Saeed, American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting

    Gabriella Puleo, Graduate Student in Burris lab, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Meeting

    Nathaniel Holcomb, Postdoctoral Fellow in D’Orazio lab, Gordon Research Conference

    Salahuddin Siddiqui, Medical Fellow mentored by Chauhan, Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of American Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation

    Toral Keller, Graduate Student in Black lab, American Association for Cancer Research

    Qi Ying, Postdoctoral Scholar in Wei lab, American Association for Cancer Research

    Stephanie Bryant, Graduate Student in Evers lab, American Gastroenterological Association/Digestive Disease Week

    Ryan DeCoster, Postdoctoral Fellow mentored by Evers, Vasconez and T. Butterfield, Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons Annual Meeting

    Ethan Stratton, Graduate Student in Hildebrandt lab, American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting

  • 2019 MCC Research Day Poster Winners

    Gongbo Liang, Graduate Student in Jacobs lab, Second Place in Graduate Student Basic Science category

    Nathalia Araujo, Graduate Student in Rangnekar lab, First Place in Graduate Student Basic Science category

    Carolyn T. Jordan, Bluegrass Advanced Materials, LLC, Second Place in Postdoc Basic Science category

    Jacqueline Rivas, Postdoc in Bondada lab, First Place in Postdoc Basic Science category

    Gabriella E. Puleo, Graduate Student in Burris lab, Second Place in Graduate Student Clinical Science category

    Tia Borger, Graduate Student in Burris lab, First Place in Graduate Student Clinical Science category

    Zin Myint, Medical Fellow, Second Place in Postdoc Clinical Science category

    Richard Lee O’Neal, Medical Fellow, First Place in Postdoc Clinical Science Category