On Jan. 4, winners of the 2010 Outstanding Research Publication Awards were honored and presented their research at MD Anderson's Hickey Auditorium.
This year's winners, Chia-Hsin Chan, Ph.D. (below, second from right), and Chun-Ju Chang, Ph.D. (right image, center), are members of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology -- but that is not all they have in common. Remarkably, they were both in the same high school class in Taiwan.
"One day at MD Anderson I attended a journal club and there was my school friend, Chun-Ju -- it was totally unexpected," explained Chan. Chang added, "We didn't recognize each other right away -- it had been a few years since we had seen each other."
Although both attended Taiwan National University (TNU) after graduating from high school, they were at different campuses. Chan continued at TNU for her Ph.D. before joining the lab of Hui-Kuan Lin, Ph.D., at MD Anderson for post-doctoral studies. Chang, who was in the School of Pharmacy at TNU, moved first to UCLA for her Ph.D., and then joined Dr. Mien-Chie Hung's group at MD Anderson in 2010.
Chang won the 2010 Outstanding Research Publication Award supported by the Heath Memorial Fund for her paper, "EZH2 promotes expansion of breast tumor initiating cells through activation of RAF1-β-catenin signaling,"
accepted for publication by Cancer Cell.
The awards are managed by the Odyssey Program at MD Anderson, and the Odyssey Program's Advisory Committee makes the selection -- always a tough task as there are many competitive submissions. The awards are supported by the Ernst W. Bertner Memorial Fund and the Heath Memorial Fund, and we are grateful for their support.
This year, we interviewed the awardees about their backgrounds and their work.
Chia-Hsin Chan, Ph.D., video interview on YouTube in English
We asked them about what it is like to do research at MD Anderson. One challenge that was discussed by Chan was finding the right mentor in such a large institution. To help with this challenge, the Center for Global Oncology recently deployed a tool called Research Profiles, where you can find our investigators by searching for key concepts.
You can find it here: http://www.researchprofiles.collexis.com/mdanderson/.
Interviews of Chan and Chang are also available on YouKu in Chinese:
Chia-Hsin Chan, Ph.D.