Purdue University and Johns Hopkins University
Area of Research:
Invasive urinary bladder cancer in both people and dogs.
Deborah W. Knapp, DVM., MS., Dipl. ACVIM (Medical Oncology)
Dolores L. McCall Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology, Purdue University
Director, Purdue Comparative Oncology Program, College of Veterinary Medicine Co-Program Leader, NCI-Designated Purdue University Center for Cancer Research
Timothy L. Ratliff, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor, Comparative Pathobiology Robert Wallace Miller Director, Purdue University Center for Cancer Research Purdue University
Noah M. Hahn, M.D. Associate Professor of Oncology Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute Member, Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Johns Hopkins University
David J. McConkey, Ph.D. Professor of Urology Director, Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute Member, Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Johns Hopkins University
Deepika Dhawan, Ph.D. Research Scientist in Bladder Cancer Research College of Veterinary Medicine Purdue University
Description of Potential Research Projects:
The fellowship will be based at Purdue University (PU) with planned time at the Johns Hopkins University (JH) for cross-training in the clinical aspects of human bladder cancer and genomics research. A central theme of the program will be comparative bladder cancer genomics to address key clinical questions across species. The study will build on ongoing bladder cancer genomics research at PU and JH addressing: (1) genes and gene patterns that drive cancer development, behavior, and progression, (2) molecular subtypes in bladder cancer shared between dogs and humans that impact cancer progression and treatment response, and (3) cancer genomic signatures that define success or failure in the immune response affecting treatment outcomes. To some extent, the project can be tailored to the strengths and goals of the fellow. For example, if the fellow has a strong interest in immunotherapy and would like further education in conducting clinical trials, they could engage in ongoing tumor microenvironment studies and participate in the design and conduct of an immunotherapy trial slated to start at PU in 2022. The fellow’s role in the parallel genomic analyses would depend on their interest and to some degree knowledge of the field. Additional training in all fields through engagement with fellowship mentors is part of the fellowship. The overarching goals of the fellowship are to provide the fellow with the tools and experience to be successful in translational cancer research through training in the: comparative aspects of bladder cancer, design and conduct of clinical trials, cancer genomics and its relation to successful immunotherapy, grant writing skills, and strategies for success in funding a research program.
Additional Training Opportunities:
- Veterinary clinical and translational research:
- Oncology house officer rounds and topic discussions – PU
- Purdue Comparative Oncology Program (PCOP) meetings
- Human clinical bladder cancer:
- Shadow Dr. Hahn and other JH bladder cancer providers (medical oncology, urology, radiation oncology); observe decision making process and clinical care
- Attend weekly multidisciplinary bladder cancer tumor board and precision medicine conference, JH
- Learn fundamental principles of human clinical trial design
- Gain appreciation for human bladder cancer drug development efforts at JH, PU, and globally
- Identify human bladder cancer investigators committed to further develop a network of comparative oncology collaborations
- Cancer genomics:
- Ongoing genomics work in all mentor labs
- JH Center for Computational Genomics, seminars and workshops
- One-on-one discussion on study design and interpretation of results with scientists in the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research (PCCR) Bioinformatics Core
- Online Coursera genomics data science course (JH) with mentoring support from the JH Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute (GBCI) bioinformaticians
- Cancer research – additional topics:
- Lab meetings (Ratliff, Knapp, McConkey labs)
- Seminars, NCI-designated Cancer Centers at both institutions
- Weekly JH GBCI remote journal club and seminar series
- Grantsmanship events organized by PU VP-Research Office and PCOP
- Mentored grant writing by mentoring team
- Meeting presentations:
- Present minimum of one seminar in the College of Veterinary Medicine or PCCR yearly related to the project
- Attend a minimum of one national cancer research meeting yearly and present scientific abstracts as work proceeds.
Fellowships are for 2 years and provide stipend and employee benefits at the NIH post-doctoral pay scale, plus a total of $2500 for travel. Fellows must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Fellows may supplement their stipend with up to 25% effort towards clinical work, if such work is in alignment with the research and career development plan and can be financed separately by the training institution.
This cohort of fellows will have a start date of fall 2023.
Contact Information for Interested Potential Trainees:
Deborah W. Knapp, D.V.M., M.S., Dipl. A.C.V.I.M. – Medical Oncology- [email protected] Dolores L. McCall Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology, Purdue University Director, Purdue Comparative Oncology Program, College of Veterinary Medicine Co-Program Leader, NCI-Designated Purdue University Center for Cancer Research