Programs recipients

Daniel Rabe 2011 - 2012 Bernice Goldblatt Fellow

2011 - 2012 Bernice Goldblatt Fellow

Cancer touches all of our lives and that personal connection helped drive me to focus my research on understanding how cancer works in order to help develop potential therapies. Your support of the program has allowed me to focus on my academics and expand my knowledge in my first year of graduate school. Being at the University of Chicago has allowed me to be a part of a unique, intellectually nurturing environment.
Coming from rural Oklahoma, I have always been appreciative of the opportunities and support provided to me that have allowed me to flourish, from the opportunity to attend the Oklahoma School of Science and Math to the grant support that helped me while I was at the University of Chicago as an undergraduate. Now with the Goldblatt Fellowship, I hope to further my dream of working in academic research studying cancer signaling. Through your support, I look forward to growing academically and professionally. I especially would like to thank the Goldblatt family for continuing to support education and research in our current economic standing and at a time when funding is uncertain.
I specialize in cell signaling. Three years prior to joining the University of Chicago, I began working at the National Cancer Institute in the lab of Don Bottaro, PhD. I was responsible for working on several projects. Our lab collaborates with GlaxoSmithKline working on a clinical trial for a Met Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI). We measured levels of soluble Met & VEGFR-2 and VEGF & HGF levels circulating in plasma of study patients to examine potential markers of response. We observed a significant reduction in sVEGR-2, and a significant increase in sMet and VEGF during treatment periods. Knowing HGF binding and activating Met leads to internalization and degradation, I examined the effect of TKI inhibition. When inhibited, Met remains on the surface, leading to higher levels of sMet secreted. My second project focuses on the identification and characterization of inhibitors selected based on their ability to bind the VEGF hypoxia responsive element. The compounds may serve as inhibitors against clear cell renal cell carcinoma that is predominantly driven by HIF2-alpha. To date, we have identified 11 potential inhibitors that need to be further characterized for function and mode of action. I have additionally been involved in a project studying a competitive antagonist to HGF binding of Met.