Honors and Awards

Ting ranks second in the nation for NIH funding in microbiology
Jenny Ting, PhD, William Rand Kenan Professor in UNC’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology and member of the UNC Lineberger, ranks second in the nation in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding in the field of microbiology.
UNC Lineberger-developed secure computing platform wins IT award
The Secure Data Analysis Platform Development Team (SeDAP) - Ciearro Faulk, Stephen Galla and Adrian Meyer - have won an Information Techology Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The trio developed a computing environment combining high accessibility, high security, and high data throughput within a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Its main objective is to enable collaboration for multi-disciplinary and multi-locational research teams while leveraging existing knowledge, resources, talents, and tools.
Montgomery named new Faculty Director of Animal Histopathology Core
Stephanie A. Montgomery, PhD, DVM, Dipl. ACVP, Assistant Professor in Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, is the new Faculty Director of UNC Lineberger's Animal Histopathology Core. Investigators utilizing animal models can now receive expert experimental pathology support from newly expanded services, including consultation on pathologic specimen collection and experimental design; training in macroscopic and microscopic examination of animals; establishment of histopathologic scoring schemes; evaluation of routine histochemical stains, immunohistochemical, and immunofluorescent tissue labeling; and publication quality image production of animal tissues.
Study published on parity and obesity in basal-like breast cancer
Dr. Liza Makowski, assistant professor in Nutrition, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Sneha Sundaram published a manuscript entitled “Obesity-mediated regulation of HGF/c-Met is associated with reduced basal-like breast cancer latency in parous mice” in PLOS One. Coauthors include Dr. Alex Freemerman (Nutrition), Dr. Joe Galanko and Mr. Kirk McNaughton (MS) in Physiology, Ms. Kat Bendt (MS) and Mr. David Darr (MS) in UNC Lineberger’s Mouse Phase 1 Phenotyping Unit, and Dr. Melissa Troester (Epidemiology and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine).
Hazel Nichols leading study of breast cancer chemoprevention use and adherence in a large integrated healthcare setting
With support from a HMO Cancer Research Network Pilot Grant and a UNC Lineberger Developmental Award, Dr. Nichols and her team will validate breast cancer chemoprevention as the primary indication for therapy in a sample of 500 women; collect preliminary data on discontinuation and adherence, and estimate the level of evidence for a net benefit of chemoprevention. This work will demonstrate the feasibility of conducting a cohort study within a large integrated healthcare plan to evaluate breast cancer chemoprevention in real-world settings.
Smith and Milowsky publish JCO editorial
Angela Smith, MD MS and Matthew Milowsky, MD have published an editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology entitled “Is Extending surveillance guidelines for renal cell carcinoma without understanding patient outcomes putting the cart before the horse?” The editorial accompanies an article which evaluates the ability of current surveillance guidelines to capture RCC recurrences and assesses the duration of surveillance required to capture 90-100% of recurrences. Drs. Smith and Milowsky discuss whether modifying existing surveillance guidelines is warranted and highlight several considerations including the generalizability of results, current characterization of low- and high-risk RCC, and future role of genomics in improving risk stratification and design of surveillance guidelines.
Dittmer lab research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Dongmei Yang and Wuguo Chen in the Dittmer lab report X-chromosome targeted sequencing, which identified a mutation in IRAK1 kinase as a common driver of a viral lymphoma in the Nov 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This represent a novel target for directed therapy against this cancer
Team of UNC Lineberger researchers published in Cancer
A team of researchers from UNC Lineberger and the University of California, Los Angeles published a paper in the current issue of Cancer, entitled “Provider-based research networks and diffusion of surgical technologies among patients with early-stage kidney cancer.” This study is the latest in a series from Lineberger researchers examining the impact of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) as a potential facilitator for the dissemination of innovative cancer care practices into the broader community.
Ahmed lab published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Former Postdoctoral fellow Aisa Sakaguchi, PhD (University of Gunma, Japan), graduate student Matt Simon (Ahmed lab), and Peter Sarkies, PhD are first authors for this study, which focuses on small RNA-mediated silencing & transgenerational fertility. UNC Lineberger member Shawn Ahmed, PhD and Eric Miska, PhD from the University of Cambridge are senior authors.
Marks delivers Annual Oration in Radiation Oncology at RSNA annual meeting
UNC Lineberger's Dr. Larry Marks, chair of the department of radiation oncology at the UNC School of Medicine, delivered the Annual Oration in Radiation Oncology at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting yesterday, speaking to the strengths - as well as the limitations - to the amazing advancements in medical imaging.
UNC Lineberger members presenting at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting
Several UNC Lineberger members and UNC School of Medicine faculty presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in San Francisco last week. With more than 15,000 members from nearly 100 countries, ASH is the world's largest professional society serving clinicians and scientists around the world who are working to conquer blood diseases. The 56th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition is the premier event in malignant and non-malignant hematology.
Walker wins Lymphoma Research Foundation award
Dr. Matthew Walker, a postdoctoral fellow in the Major Lab, was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Lymphoma Research Foundation. The two-year award provides $105,000 to support research on the role of Wnt signaling in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.
Ahmed lab published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Former Postdoctoral fellow Aisa Sakaguchi, PhD (University of Gunma, Japan), graduate student Matt Simon (Ahmed lab), and Peter Sarkies, PhD are first authors for this study, which focuses on small RNA-mediated silencing & transgenerational fertility. UNC Lineberger member Shawn Ahmed, PhD and Eric Miska, PhD from the University of Cambridge are senior authors.
DeSimone, Ting published in PNAS
UNC Lineberger members Joseph DeSimone, PhD and Jenny Ting, PhD, along with other researchers at the UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University have uncovered a novel approach to creating inhalable vaccines using nanoparticles that shows promise for targeting lung-specific diseases, such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also have broad public health implications for improving the accessibility of vaccines.
Keku published in American Journal of Physiology
Temitope Keku, MSPH, PhD has published a review in The American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology titled “The Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Colorectal Cancer.” Coauthors include Drs. Santosh Dulal, April Deveaux, Biljana Jovov, and Xuesong Han. This article provides an overview on the role of resident gut microbiota in the development of human colorectal cancer and explores its association with diet and inflammation.
Wang published in Nanoscale
Andrew Zhuang Wang, MD, of the UNC Lineberger Department of Radiation Oncology, was published in the journal Nanoscale. The paper, "Nanoparticle delivery of chemosensitizers improve chemotherapy efficacy without incurring additional toxicity," was accepted by the journal Jan. 4. Wang and other researchers demonstrated proof of the principle of using a nanoparticle formulation for drugs that improve the sensitivity of tumors to chemotherapy.
UNC Health Registry Partnership results in new research publications
In partnership with clinical investigators in gynecologic oncology, the UNC Health Registry/Cancer Survivorship Cohort (HR/CSC) provided recruitment, data collection through patient interviews, and support for multiple publications.
New approach may lead to inhalable vaccines for influenza, pneumonia
Researchers at the UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University have uncovered a novel approach to creating inhalable vaccines using nanoparticles that shows promise for targeting lung-specific diseases, such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The work was led by Cathy Fromen and Gregory Robbins, members of the DeSimone and Ting labs at UNC Lineberger, and reveals that a particle’s surface charge plays a key role in eliciting immune responses in the lung.
Major receives grant from Gabrielle's Angel Foundation
Ben Major (PhD, Cancer Cell Biology) was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Gabrielle's Angel Foundation to study the role of WNT signal transduction in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
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Wang published in Biomaterials
A study by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers led by Andrew Wang, MD, has been published in the journal Biomaterials. The study found that a nanoparticle formulation of histone deacetylase inhibitors is more effective in sensitizing solid tumor cells to radiation than small-molecule formations of the drug.
UNC-led study published in American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
A team of UNC researchers modeled outcomes for laparoscopic hysterectomy with morcellation compared with abdominal hysterectomy in a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Battaglini honored with 2015 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for Research
Claudio Battaglini, PhD, UNC Lineberger member and Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Science has been selected to recieve the award, which recognizes UNC-Chapel Hill units and organizations that have performed extraordinary public service and engaged scholarship and/or enabled such service by others. Director of the Integrative Exercise Oncology Laboratory and Co-Director of the Get REAL & HEEL Breast Cancer Research Program, Dr. Battaglini’s research focuses on the effects of acute and chronic exercise on physiological, psychological, and physical functioning in cancer patients.
Kabanov honored for work in nanomedicine
Alexander V. Kabanov, PhD, DrSci, a UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy professor and director of the school’s Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, has been honored by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Kabanov has been inducted into the institute’s College of Fellows – an honor that serves to recognize accomplished and distinguished engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs.
Wang selected as Science Translational Medicine associate adviser
UNC Lineberger member Andrew Wang, MD, has been selected as an associate scientific adviser for Science’s sister journal Science Translational Medicine.
Smith secures NCI grant for HPV sample self-collection study
Jennifer Smith, PhD, a UNC Lineberger member and an associate professor of epidemiology at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded a RO1 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the project “Effect of HPV Self-Collection on Cervical Cancer Screening in High-Risk Women.”