Summer Trainee Presentations

Join us as we showcase trainees and the research conducted during the 2021 Diversity in Cancer Research Program and the Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program. Presentations are open to the WU Community.

Friday, August 6, 2021, 12:30 – 4:00 PM via Zoom

Click HERE to view the 2021 Siteman Summer Research Presentations Agenda.

Speakers & Abstracts

(in order of presentation)

Sleckman, Katherine Roster PhotoKatherine Sleckman

University of Georgia 2021 Graduate

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Jean Hunleth, Surgery – Public Health Sciences

PHRAME: examining young people’s health agency in rural communities

Presentation at 12:40 PM

Olamide AdebayoAdebayo, Ola Roster Photo

Washington University Rising Senior

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Adetunji Toriola, Surgery – Public Health Sciences

Metabolomics and Breast Density Study

Presentation at 12:50 PM

Dame Vogg, Guinter Roster PhotoGuinter Dame Vogg

Washington University Rising Sophomore

American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research (DiCR) Program

Mentor: Dr. Jason Weber, Medicine – Medical Oncology

The role of ISG15 in triple-negative breast cancer tumorigenesis 

Presentation at 1:00 PM

Lopez, Shirley Roster PhotoShirley Lopez

Washington University Rising Sophomore

American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research (DiCR) Program

Mentor: Dr. Katherine Fuh, Obstetrics and Gynecology – Oncology

TP53 R273H Mutation in High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

Presentation at 1:10 PM

Boyd, Preston Photo RosterPreston Boyd

Washington University Rising Junior

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Simon Haroutounian, Anesthesiology – Clinical Research

Personalized Prediction of Persistent Post-Surgical Pain: Pilot Study (P5)

Presentation at 1:20 PM

Alfred, Gio Roster PhotoGiovanni Alfred

Washington University Rising Junior

American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research (DiCR) Program

Mentor: Dr. David DeNardo, Medicine – Medical Oncology

Evaluating the effects of a DC Modulatory Therapy by multiplex IHC

Presentation at 1:30 PM

Velez Torres, Elena Roster PhotoElena Velez-Torres

Ponce School of Medicine 2nd Year Medical Student

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. William McCoy, Medicine – Dermatology

How Gut Microbiota Impact Melanomagenesis in BRAF (V600E);p53-/- Zebrafish

Presentation at 1:40 PM

Mohammed, Kalid Roster PhotoKalid Mohammed

Washington University Rising Sophomore

American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research (DiCR) Program

Mentor: Dr. Sheila Stewart, Cell Biology and Physiology

The mechanism behind a treatable p38 pathway for metastatic breast cancer 

Presentation at 1:50 PM

Photo Orozco, PaolaPaola Orozco

University of Missouri Columbia School of Medicine 2nd Year Medical Student

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. David Gutmann, Neurology

Cerebral Organoids as a 3D Preclinical Model for Pediatric Brain Tumors

Presentation at 2:30 PM

Img 3613Zoe Boudart

Washington University Post-baccalaureate

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Carmen Bergom, Radiation Oncology – Cancer Biology

Exploring The Role of Sirt3 in Radiation-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction

Presentation at 2:40 PM

Photo Boker2Milli Boker

Washington University Rising Senior

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Ashley Housten, Surgery – Public Health Sciences

Access to Fertility Preservation Treatment for Adolescents and Young Children with Cancer: A State Level Legislative Scoping Review

Presentation at 2:50 PM

Photo Kyllians, EmmanuellaEmmanuella Kyllians

University of Kentucky Master’s in Biology Graduate Student

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Yin Cao, Surgery – Public Health Sciences

Analyzing the Oral Microbiome in Barrett’s Esophagus

Presentation at 3:00 PM

Photo KuklisNatasha Kuklis

Washington University Rising Junior

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Mentor: Dr. Milan Chheda, Medicine – Medical Oncology

Characterizing the Interaction between ZFHX4 and CHD4 

Presentation at 3:10 PM

Img 1231Akshay Govindan

Washington University Rising Junior

Mentor: Dr. Li Ding, Medicine – Medical Oncology

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Pan-cancer analysis of post-translational modifications

Presentation at 3:20 PM

Photo Onyeador OnyinyechiOnyi Onyeador

Washington University Rising Senior

Mentor: Dr. Todd Fehniger, Medicine – Bone Marrow Transplant

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

In Vitro Validation of In Silico Predicted Tumor-Specific Mutant Antigens

Presentation at 3:30 PM

Kevin He Photo2Kevin He

Washington University Rising Junior

Mentor: Dr. Angela Hirbe, Medicine – Medical Oncology

Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

TYK2 as a Prognostic Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors

Presentation at 3:40 PM


Special Thanks from the Trainees


On behalf of all the Diversity in Cancer Research Program trainees, I personally want to thank Dr. Weber, Dr. Stewart, Dr. Fuh, and Dr. DeNardo for taking us under your wing and providing mentorship and support this summer. Though this was the first year of the program, you all have done an amazing job at changing our perspective on research and our preprofessional career. We would also like to thank the American Cancer Society for allowing us to learn, grow, and research by funding our program through an award that program director Dr. Weber received and we would like to thank Siteman Cancer Center for providing direct support to our program. Thank you to all the faculty that took time out of their busy schedule to provide us with research and career development talks at the Lunch and Learn and Friday’s Seminars. Lastly, we would like to thank our program supervisor Rachel Sorensen for making our program special by helping and communicating with each one of us, and we cannot wait to see how the rest of the program unfolds.

Authored by Kalid Mohammed, 2021 DiCR Trainee


On behalf of all the Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program trainees, we would like to thank Siteman Cancer Center, Barnes Jewish Hospital, and the Washington University School of Medicine for giving us the opportunity to research with such knowledgeable and distinguished faculty at a world-class institution. This summer, we have taken great strides in personal and preprofessional growth through our research experiences, lunch and learns, and predoctoral seminars and honed applicable traits and skills that will continue to guide us throughout our future careers. It goes without saying that we are extremely grateful to all the individuals and institutions responsible for the success of the program.

Thank you to all the faculty at Siteman Cancer Center who took time out of their busy schedules to impassion young scientists in the field of cancer research.

Thank you to our mentors and program coordinators for their flexibility and dedication to making this experience possible during these unpredictable times.

Lastly, thank you to the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital for funding the program and investing to change our lives.

We extend a special thanks to everyone who has made this summer opportunities program possible, and we cannot wait to continue our careers with all the significant learning, growth, and knowledge we have gained.

Authored by Kevin He and Katherine Sleckman, 2021 Leah Menshouse Springer Trainees