Dr. Paola Vera-Licona Ph.D, faculty at Center for Quantitative Medicine, has been accepted to participate in the Interstellar Initiative mentoring workshop at the New York Academy of Sciences from March 17–19, 2017. The Interstellar Initiative — presented jointly by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the New York Academy of Sciences — will recognize the world’s most promising Early Career Investigators in the fields of cancer, regenerative medicine, and neuroscience. Individuals accepted into the Interstellar Initiative will participate in a three-day conference at the New York Academy of Sciences, where they will be grouped within teams of three and asked to propose a solution to a major research question, guided by mentors who are at the peak of their respective disciplines.”
Anna Konstorum, a postdoctoral fellow of Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher’s research group at Center for Quantitative Medicine, has been awarded a F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the NIH.
The project titled ‘Multiscale modeling of synergistic T cell activation for cancer immunotherapy”.
The Sponsor is Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher of Center of Quantitative Medicine, Co-Sponsor is Dr. Anthony Vella of the Department of Immunology, and Collaborator is Dr. Adam Adler of the Department of Immunology.
Dr. Anna Konstorum will develop both intracellular and multiscale mathematical and computational models of combined agonist stimulation of T cell costimulatory receptors OX40 (CD137) and 4-1BB (CD134). The models will be used to decipher the critical mechanisms and scales underlying the experimentally observed synergistic behavior of these two agonists on CD8+ T cell activation, and thus will aide in the development of a quantitative platform from which to examine multiscale drug synergy for application to cancer immunotherapy.
Dr. Paola Vera-Licona, Assistant Professor at the UConn Health in the Department of Cell Biology and Center for Quantitative Medicine has received a joint appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Anna Konstorum, a postdoctoral fellow at Center for Quantitative Medicine, has been awarded travel funds to give a talk at BAMM! (Biology and Medicine through Mathematics) in Richmond, Virginia. The conference will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia on the dates 5/20-5/22. Anna will give a talk entitle “A multi-level model of synergistic T cell activation”.
When Gov. Dannel Malloy, University President Susan Herbst, and The Jackson Laboratory CEO Edison Liu persuaded the state that bringing the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine to the UConn Health campus would yield dividends for bioscience in Connecticut, even they had no idea how fast that would come true. Barely two years after the facility opened, there are already 19 faculty at the Jackson Lab facility in Farmington, and the majority of them are collaborating with UConn physicians and researchers.
The governor may have sold the idea of helping JAX Genomic Medicine come to Connecticut to the legislature on the basis of jobs. But this was no marriage of chance or economic convenience. JAX has a deep knowledge of the role of genetics in diseases of mice and of humans, and wanted a more direct way to translate that into medical treatments. UConn has broad expertise in the genetics of everything from microbes to livestock, plus a hospital with patients and clinician-researchers. Together, UConn and JAX could create an ideal ecosystem of collaboration between doctors, geneticists, and computational biologists that might yield cures for human disease.
“Real, impactful science is teamwork,” says Charles Lee, director of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington. By locating on the UConn Health campus, JAX researchers can team up with fantastic clinicians and researchers at UConn, he adds.
And UConn appreciates the partnership just as much, because of the talent JAX brings, as well as the great equipment and facilities. According to UConn vice president of research Jeff Seemann, an internationally recognized biochemist, the state-of-the-art UConn-Jackson Lab complex is the type of setting scientific researchers “dream about. It’s where any scientist could come, have a long and productive career, and die happy.”
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Postdoctoral Position in Computational Systems Biology: The Computational Systems Medicine research group led by Professor Vera-Licona and the Systems Biology group led by Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher at the Center for Quantitative Medicine at UConn Health have openings for talented and highly motivated postdoctoral fellows who wish to work on exciting research problems that are both computationally challenging and biologically important.
Anna Konstorum, a post-doctoral fellow at Center for Quantitative Medicine, has been selected to receive an early career travel award to give a talk at the 2016 SIAM Conference on the Life Sciences. The conference will be held at The Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts on the dates 7/11-7/14. Anna will give a talk entitle “A stochastic algebraic model of synergistic T cell activation by pharmaceutical agonists”, as part of the mini-symposium on ‘Combinatorics and Algebra in Biological Structures’.