Congratulations to Sarah Wang, Recipient of an NIH F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

Sarah Wang was was awarded an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F30) from the National Cancer Institute in January 2022. Sarah is a MD-PhD student in the Dudley lab in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MIC). She is pursuing her PhD in the Microbiology graduate program. Her thesis project is focused on uncovering the mechanisms of perivascular melanoma dispersal and survival in the brain. Melanoma cells have an unusually high propensity to metastasize to the brain. Within the brain microenvironment, these cells are found predominantly in a perivascular niche where they “co-opt” the vasculature to support their survival and invasion deep into the cortex. Sarah’s work is exploring how a vascular-induced TGFβ-AKT signaling axis may cooperate with PTEN loss to enhance perivascular invasion. In addition to her PhD work, Sarah is also a volunteer with the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation as a research advocate and a panelist for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science (PCORI CEDS) Advisory Panel. Her future goal is to become a physician-scientist in the cancer field, where she hopes to bridge knowledge between the scientific, medical, and patient/caregiver communities. She is motivated by the potential of utilizing scientific findings to improve the lives of patients and is dedicated to disseminating these findings to those that would benefit.