2004, Ph.D. Immunology,
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
1996, B.S. Molecular Biology/Biotechnology,
Salem-Teikyo University, Salem, West Virginia.
1993 Student Fellow; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Fellowship; West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
1995-1996 Independent Researcher, Salem-Teikyo University, Salem, West Virginia
1996-1997 Graduate Research Assistant, Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Division; HIV Database, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
1997-2001 Graduate Research Assistant, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
2001-2004 Graduate Research Assistant, University of California, Riverside, California
2004- 2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan
2005-2007 Postdoctoral Investigator, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Ft.Pierce, Florida
2007 Assistant Research Scientist, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Ft. Pierce, Florida
2008-present Assistant Research Professor Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at FAU
My research focuses on finding marine natural products that have the potential to be novel therapeutics against pancreatic cancer, novel drugs that target components of the immune system that link inflammation and pancreatic cancer development or novel tools to help us further our understanding of this dreaded disease. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer lethality in the United States. Patients diagnosed have a survival rate of 26% one year after diagnosis and less than 6% five years after diagnosis, highlighting the urgent need for new therapies to treat this disease. My work at Harbor Branch has resulted in the discovery of novel anti-metastatic properties for manzamine A; the inhibition of topoisomerase II by isobatzelline E; the anti-mitotic effects of aphrocallistin and its derivatives, the inhibition of NFκB by spongiatriol and microsclerodermin A, and the development of assays to detect compounds that target important signaling pathways that are aberrant in pancreatic cancer. This work has resulted in 11 publications and 2 patents.