2019 Predoctoral Awardees

The UF Health Cancer Center Predoctoral Awards are given annually to up to five graduate students. These awards recognize and support outstanding predoctoral candidates conducting innovative research focused on cancer.

The 2019 Predoctoral Awardees are:

Bayli DiVita Dean
Biomedical Sciences Program – Immunology & Microbiology

Mentor: Catherine Flores, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: “Elucidating the role of gliomas on hematopoietic cells”

Abdelrahman Elsayed
Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences Program

Mentor: Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: “Genome Wide and Targeted Approaches to Identify Biomarkers Associated with Clinical Outcomes in Pediatric AML Patients”

Adaixa Padron
Clinical Health Psychology Program

Mentor: Deidre Pereira, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: “Diurnal Variations in Salivary Concentrations of Pro-Tumorigenic Cytokines and Possible Effects of Psycho-Physiological Stress in Oncology Patients and Matched Healthy Controls”


Mai Tanaka
Biomedical Sciences Program – Cancer Biology

Mentor: Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: “Multimodal roles of Axl in Cancer Metastasis”

Kartika Venugopal
Biomedical Sciences Program – Cancer Biology

Mentor: Olga Guryanova, M.D., Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: “Leukemia-associated DNMT3A mutant cells are more sensitive to replication stalling pharmacological agents”