The SPORE in GI Cancer: Research

Career Development Program

The Career Development Program is charged with recruiting and supporting talented investigators interested in focusing on GI cancer translational research. These could either be promising new investigators or established investigators wishing to redirect their research focus to translational research in GI cancer. This is accomplished by salary and research support for these investigators granted after identification of an established mentor, submission of a detailed plan of studies, personal interviews and rigorous peer review.

GI SPORE Career Development Award recipients include:

Nipun Merchant, M.D.
Associate Professor of Surgery
Surgical Oncology
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Axis as a Therapeutic Target in Colorectal Cancer Progression

Ada H. Braun, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Instructor
Division of Gastroenterology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Intracellular trafficking, regulated proteolytic cleavage and distinct compartment-specific roles for heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) in polarized epithelial cells.

Ming Li, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biostatistics
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Biostatistical and Bioinformatic Tools for High Throughput Data Analysis

Shawn E. Levy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics & Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Director of Vanderbilt Microarray Shared Resource
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Simultaneous Profiling of Protein and RNA Expression by Mass Spectrometry in Intact Tissue Samples

Harvey J. Murff, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor in Medicine
General Internal Medicine and Public Health
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Mechanisms and Management of Familial Colorectal Cancer

Ethan Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Regulation of Canonical Wnt Signaling in Development and Cancer

Christopher S. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology
Division of Gastroenterology
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
The Role of Bves in Regulating Colon Epithelial Function and in Colorectal Carcinoma

James N. Higginbotham, Ph.D.
Research Instructor
Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Comparison of Autocrine, Paracrine, and Juxtacrine Signaling Pathways Mediated by Vesicles/Exosomes Surfaces and Cargoes from CRC Cells and their Various Roles in Adhesion, Apoptosis, Differentiation, Growth, and Migration of Polarizing and Non-polarizing Epithelia and Immune Effectors

Jeffrey Franklin, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Regulation of Stem Cell Homeostasis and Misregulation in Cancer of the Colon


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