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The Young Investigators Award in memory of Robert L. Kelly for clinical/translational medicine was conferred upon Erin Thacker. Dr. Thacker is currently a Postdoctoral Trainee in Dr. David Curiel’s lab in the Department of Medicine and Gene Therapy Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Thacker’s research involves investigating Adenovirus-based gene therapies for the treatment of metastatic and recurrent cancers in dogs and humans.
The Kelly Award for basic science was awarded to two investigators this year: Dr. Kevin Woolard and Dr. Benoit Hedan. Dr. Woolard completed a veterinary residency and is currently in the residency/PhD program with North Carolina State University and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Under the mentorship of Dr. Howard Fine at the Center for Cancer Research at NCI, Dr. Woolard has been investigating tumor stem cells and the roll of the dog as a model for brain tumors in humans. Dr. Benoit obtained his DVM from the veterinary school of Nantes, France and completed a PhD in canine genetics at the University of Rennes, France. His studies involve looking for genes associated with merle coat color and with histiocytic malignancies.
The Young Investigators Award for Basic Science was presented to Tanya Gustafson, Texas A&M University for her work in tumor suppressor gene mechanisms in breast cancer. Gustafson is currently working on a combined DVM/PhD degree from TAMU, focusing her research efforts on the tumor suppressor gene singleminded 2 as it relates to breast cancer.
The Young Investigators Award for Translational Medicine was presented to Dr. Angela Lamarato-Kozicki, University of Wisconsin, Madison for her work on canine hemangiosarcoma. After a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Jaime Modiano’s lab at the AMC Cancer Center where she also focused on canine hemangiosarcoma, Dr. Kozicki began her medical veterinary oncology residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Rachael Thomas graduated in 1996 with an honours degree in Applied Biology from the University of Bath, UK. PhD studies (awarded 2000) in comparative genomics and molecular cytogenetics were based at the Animal Health Trust and the University of Leicester, UK, an exploration of the detailed evolutionary relationships between dog chromosome five and the human genome. Current work is focussed on the molecular cytogenetics of canine cancer at the Animal Health Trust, with a particular interest in the characterisation of recurrent chromosome aberrations in lymphoma and the development of next-generation resources for higher-throughput analyses.