Godla recently presented a talk entitled “Using Rare Cell Capture to Understand Metastasis” at the 13th International Summer School on Biocomplexity, Biodesign, and Bioinnovation in Istanbul, Turkey. The presentation highlighted recent work using GEDI immunocapture to isolate circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a metastatic pancreatic cancer mouse model, with the goal of comparing genetic mutations in these CTCs with mutations found in the primary tumor and metastases. More information on the Summer School can be found here.
Marie Godla was recently awarded a fellowship to attend the 13th International Summer School on Biocomplexity, Bioinnovation, and Biodesign in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2014. This Summer School is sponsored by the NSF and co-sponsored by the IEEE EMB Society, the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Houston, the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University and the Bogazici University. Approximately 30 students from around the world were selected to attend. Additionally, to support travel to this conference, Marie was awarded a conference travel grant from Cornell University.
More information on the Summer School can be found here.
As part of the BME Summer Immersion Program, I have spent my summer at Weill Cornell Medical College shadowing clinicians in the hospital and engaging in clinical research. Through the program I was matched with Dr. Jonathan Weinsaft, a cardiologist who specializes in cardiac MRI, through whom I was able to observe diagnostic imaging procedures (CT, MRI) and subsequent analysis, as well attend cardiac care unit rounds. I also shadowed Dr. Divya Gupta, a gynecologic oncologist with whom the Kirby lab is interested in collaborating, in the clinic to see gynecologic exams and understand how a patient goes from an initial visit to a treatment plan. Additionally, I have attended rounds in the pediatric ICU and emergency department.
What I have most greatly enjoy seeing is the practice of medicine–the interactions between patients and the medical team, the complications of language barriers and insurance issues, the difficulties in establishing courses of treatment with which patients will be compliant. What most surprised me (ironically) is that patients enter the hospital when sick, and that they rarely have only one health concern–a patient complaining of chest pain might also have high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, etc. and the challenge is in managing all of these conditions simultaneously.
The Immersion Program also includes a small research project. For this, I am working with Dr. Weinsaft on developing a method of automatically detecting thrombus (blood clots) in long-axis, long T1 inversion time MR images.
I attended the 4th Annual Physical Sciences in Oncology (PS-OC) Meeting from April 17-19, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Cornell University is one of 12 PS-OC centers across the country. The PS-OC network is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This conference was helpful for me in contextualizing our group’s research within the national network; I found the sections on clinical applications and physical sciences perspectives on metastasis most relevant to our research.
From the NCI PS-OC office:
“The Office of Physical Sciences – Oncology (OPSO) leads the NCI’s efforts to establish research projects that bring together cancer biologists and oncologists with scientists from the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering to address some of the major questions and barriers in cancer research.”
I recently won a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) in the 2012-2013 competition. This award, in addition to being a high honor, provides three years of federal funding for my research. My application discussed improving early detection of ovarian cancer through rare cell capture; during my tenure as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, I will be pursuing this avenue of research.
From the NSF GRFP website:
“The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.”