Penn SBDRC Trainee Investigator, Aayushi Uberoi, PhD, was recently awarded the Awesome Games Done Quick fellowship from the Prevent Cancer Foundation. These awards are given to promising early-stage investigators with novel ideas and hypotheses for cancer prevention and early detection. The full list of researchers and their projects can be found here: https://www.preventcancer.org/research/researcher-profiles/
Dr. Uberoi is a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Elizabeth Grice’s lab. She was awarded $50,000 a year for 2 years for her project entitled “Modulating skin microbiota-host interactions to prevent UV-induced skin cancer”. In this project she will be investigating squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The UVB spectra of ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure is a well-established skin stressor and cause of skin SCCs. The skin is colonized by a plethora of microbes, or “skin microbiome,” that help maintain epithelial homeostasis and encounter the same UVB exposure as the skin. However, the host-microbiome dynamics during UVB-induced SCCs remain unexplored and skin microbiome remains an untapped resource to develop novel preventive strategies. Dr. Uberoi hopes that understanding these mechanisms will lead to identification of microbial biomarkers to screen patients susceptible to UVB-induced skin carcinomas. Additionally, targeting skin microbiota by decreasing bacteria bioburden or harnessing microbial metabolites would provide a low-cost, noninvasive strategy to manage skin cancers.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization solely dedicated to cancer prevention and early detection. Its mission focuses work in four areas: research, education, outreach, and advocacy. The goal of the Research Program is to provide funding for innovative projects that will likely lead to future funding from other sources such as the NIH. More information about the Research Program can be found here: https://www.preventcancer.org/research/