Current Cancer-Focused Trainee Teams

The first cohort of pre- and postdoctoral trainees joined the TICaRT Program in August 2021. They will spend two years in the program, working as teams on joint projects.

Team Project: Tailoring Virtual Human Voice and Character Customization as a Part of a Telehealth Intervention to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Black Adults

Eric Cooks, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Janice Krieger, Ph.D., Advertising
Research Project: Choices for character customization as part of a telehealth intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among racial minorities.


Andrew Maxim, Predoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Benjamin Lok, Ph.D., Computer Science
Dissertation Project: Modeling Dynmaic Virtual Human Interventions – Leveraging Computer – Generated Voices.


Team Project: Discovery and Development of Novel Cancer Therapies

Peter Dib, Predoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D., Anatomy & Cell Biology
Dissertation Project: Thymidylate in Cancer Development and Therapeutics


Derek Leas, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Z. Robert Huigens, Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry
Research Project: Cleavage of Indole Alkaloids to Discover New Anticancer Agents


Team Project: Identification of miRNA-Associated Therapeutic Targets in Colorectal Cancer Through Cutting-Edge Biochemical and Bioinformatics Methods

Nicholas Hiers, Predoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Mingyi Xie, Ph.D., Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Dissertation Project: Determination of the target RNA-directed miRNA degradation interactome in colorectal cancer tissue


Daniel Stribling, Predoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Rolf Renne, Ph.D., Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Dissertation Project: Elucidating the Role of Oncogenic Viral miRNAs in Kaposi’s Sarcoma via Development of Novel Computational Methods


Team Project: The Role of the Human Gut Microbiome in Combinatorial Cancer Therapy Response in Pansolid Tumors

Rachel Newsome, Predoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Christian Jobin, Ph.D., Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
Dissertation Project: The role of the human gut microbiome in cancer immunotherapy response


Bayli DiVita-Dean, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Catherine Flores, Ph.D., Neurosurgery
Research Project: The impact of solid tumors on hematopoietic stem cells