Lab News and Updates
Carson Lab Recent Happenings
Pelotonia Ride August 5th– 7th 2022, A Weekend To Remember!
On behalf of everyone at OSU, we are grateful for you and your support towards innovate cancer research
Fall Semester 2022 Updates –
- Himanshu Savardekar will be presenting a poster titled “Dasatinib inhibits peroxynitrite generation from myeloid derived suppressor cells; implications for enhancing immune based therapies” at the 2022 James Annual Scientific Meeting.
- Carson is excited to announce that Dr. Dionisia Quiroga is a recipient of a Career Development Award from Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation. The grant supports clinical investigators in establishing independent research programs. The award will be presented to Dr. Quiroga at the annual ASCO meeting in June 2022.
- Steve Sun’s poster – “Characterization of Peroxynitrite Generation by Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells in Patients with Advanced Melanoma” was voted the Best Poster in the Melanoma, Quality and Disparities Virtual Poster Grand Rounds by attendees at the SSO 2022 Virtual Pre-Meeting.
- Colin Angell will be presenting at the OSU Department of Surgery’s 27th Annual Research Conference. His presentation and poster reflect his current research project “Expression of microRNAs and their target genes in melanomas originating from gynecologic sites.”
- The Carson Lab’s newest member, Alex Abreo, recently received a STEP Fellowship providing him with funds to use towards his STEP Signature Project. STEP is an extension of Ohio State’s commitment to the student experience and provides an opportunity for education beyond the classroom.
- Lab members Himanshu Savardekar, Gabriella Lapurga, and Emily Schwarz were invited to share their research posters at the 2021 SITC annual meeting in Washington, DC. Each abstract and poster presentation represents a lab member’s priority project and hours and hours of cancer research.
Himanshu’s abstract was titled “MDSC gene expression analysis in patients with cancer and the response to inhibition of Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase”
Gabriella presented her abstract at the SITC 2021 annual meeting and was invited back to present again at the recent SITC Tumor Immune Microenvironment: A Holistic Approach Workshop in San Diego, CA. The title of her poster is “Characterization of a Novel Compound that Inhibits Peroxynitrite Generation by Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells.”
Emily’s abstract “Analysis of changes in plasma cytokine levels in response to IL-12 therapy in three clinical trials” was also presented at the annual SITC conference and again at the SITC Tumor Immune Microenvironment: A Holistic Approach Workshop in San Diego, CA.
Update from the William E. Carson, III Laboratory
Fall Semester 2021
Gabriella Lapurga, Research Assistant
Gabriella began her research in the Carson Lab as an undergraduate at OSU and is currently working in the Carson Lab as a Research Technician. Gabriella was recently accepted into medical school and will begin her studies this summer at Ohio University. Gabriella’s abstract titled “Characterization of a novel compound that inhibits peroxynitrite generation by myeloid-derived suppressor cells,” was accepted for a poster presentation at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 36thAnnual Meeting (SITC 2021). She attended the conference in Washington D.C. 11/11/21-11/14/21. This project was also accepted for poster presentation at the James Cancer Center’s Annual Scientific Meeting where she was awarded 2nd place!
Gabriella has been studying the inhibitory immune cells (known as MDSC – myeloid derived suppressor cells) that are greatly expanded in patients with cancer and seem to play a large role in preventing the body’s immune cells from destroying tumor cells. She showed that MDSC from cancer patients generated high amounts of a toxic oxygen radical known peroxynitrite. She has shown that peroxynitrite inhibits the cancer fighting functions of key immune cells. She has shown that peroxynitrite can be depleted using new compounds that were invented by our Ohio State collaborator Dr. Blake Peterson.
Himanshu Savardekar, PhD Student
Himanshu Savardekar started 3 years ago as a Research Technician in the Carson lab, shortly after graduating from OSU. We are proud to say that he is continuing his research in our lab as a PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Himanshu’s abstract titled “MDSC gene expression analysis in patients with cancer and the response to inhibition of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase.” was accepted for a poster presentation at Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 36thAnnual Meeting (SITC 2021). He attended the conference in Washington D.C. 11/11/21-11/14/21. This project was also accepted for poster presentation the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology’s 3rd Annual Immuno-Oncology Symposium.
Himanshu has shown that a targeted drug (known as ibrutinib) normally used for leukemia patients can turn off MDSC and allow immune activating treatments to work better. In order to understand how this drug is working, he has analyzed its effects on gene expression using MDSC from melanoma patients and a new technology known as single cell RNA sequencing. Himanshu has shown that ibrutinib turns off major pathways that block the immune system and he is soon going to publish this information in a peer-reviewed journal.
Emmy Schwarz. PhD Student
Emily has been a part of the Carson Lab team for 2 years. She is pursuing her PhD through the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Her abstract “Analysis of changes in plasma cytokine levels in response to IL-12 therapy in three clinical trials” was accepted for a poster presentation at Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s 36thAnnual Meeting (SITC 2021) and she attended the conference in Washington D.C. 11/11/21-11/14/21. This project was also presented as a poster at the James Cancer Center’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
Emily’s project looked at a series of patients that were treated on three of Dr. Carson’s experimental clinical trials that used an immune boosting hormone (or cytokine) called interleukin-12 (IL-12). Emily measured blood levels of downstream cytokines that were generated as a result of the immune stimulation in patients that either did very well and had tumor shrinkage or did not do well and experienced tumor growth. She found that the pattern of the immune response differed significantly in these two groups of patients and has been working with the OSU bioinformatics group to develop a way to predict
which patients will respond well to this treatment. This is an important task since newer, genetically-modified, versions of IL-12 are now available for use in humans that last longer following injection and have fewer side effects. In this manner, we hope to be able to identify patients who will do best in response to new therapies.
Dionisia Quiroga, DO, PhD
Dr. Dionisia Quiroga is a breast medical oncology fellow and NIH T32 post-doctoral research fellow in the Carson Lab. She was recently hired as an assistant professor and will be coming on staff at the James as a breast medical oncologist in the Division of Medical Oncology. She will start in the spring and will have her own clinic where she will continue her research on the immune therapy of breast cancer.
Dion was recently selected as an FDA-AACR (American Association of Cancer Researchers) Oncology Educational Fellowship Participant. These fellows have opportunities to interact with FDA physicians and leadership to learn oncology drug development and the regulatory review process needed to get new anti-cancer drugs to market. The Fellowship began in October of 2021 and will continue through May 2022. Dione is excited about this new opportunity and is planning on using her lab experience in the effort to develop new immune therapies for breast cancer patients. So far, only a small percentage of patients with advanced breast cancer are benefitting from the new drugs that can turn on the T cell response to cancer. Dion will be able to take discoveries being made in other cancers (in the Carson Lab and beyond) and apply them to patients being seen at Ohio State.
Steven Sun, MD, MS, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Sun is a Resident Physician in the Department of General Surgery at Ohio State who just completed two years of bench research in the Carson Lab. He is in his second to last clinical year of residency and is currently applying for a position as a Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellow, where he will be able to continue his training and become an expert in cancer surgery.
In May of this year, Dr. Sun was awarded first place for his study “Differences in myeloid-derived suppressor cell populations in patients with ulcerated vs non-ulcerated melanoma receiving immune checkpoint blockade.” Dr. Sun was very interested in studying melanoma tumors that were ulcerated since they can be very aggressive. He studied levels of MDSC in melanoma patients getting immune activating treatments and showed that those with a history of an ulcerated tumor had markedly different levels of these cells. He is now exploring how the genetic changes within the melanoma cells that makes them able to manipulates the patient’s immune system and hamper its activity.
The lab team gathered recently for our annual Christmas party at Buca Di Beppo. It is always a much anticipated event but being able to celebrate together was very special after missing last year’s gathering due to the pandemic.
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday,
The Carson Research Team
Fall/Winter 2020-2021 Carson Lab Updates
During the past few months, while implementing new COVID guidelines, the Carson Lab team has continued to do what we do best …pulling together and forging full steam ahead on our cancer research projects with one goal in mind – finding the cure for cancer. With the addition of PPE and social distancing the safety of our fellow lab members is a top priority.
Lab Member Highlights
Dr. Carson, reflecting on his successful career as a physician, scientist, gave an inspiring lecture Friday, February 5, 2021
Beyond the CV: William E. Carson, III MD.
FAME Website FAME (osu.edu)
The Carson Lab team agrees that it includes excellent career and life advice and is “A MUST WATCH.”
Brooke Benner completed her graduate studies in our lab and is now helping to guide our research team as a Post Doc Scholar. She recently received a travel award for her research at the OSU Annual Scientific Meeting in the Clinical/Translational Science category. Her artwork was featured in the OSU Alumni Fall 2020 Newsletter and she submitted a poster at the Pelotonia Institute for Immune-Oncology (PIIO) Symposium Poster Presentation “A pilot study of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib alone and in combination with PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab in patients with metastatic solid tumors.”
Himanshu Savardekar is completing his graduate studies in the Carson Lab and will be presenting his current research on Single cell RNA Sequencing analysis on the effect of Ibrutinib of Myeloid Derived Suppressor cells at the upcoming Trainee Research Day at OSU this spring. He is also collaborating with Dr. Andrew Stiff, a former MD/PhD student in the lab, on the effect of BRD4 inhibition on myeloid derived suppressor cells. A large animal study for this project will begin in the spring.
Dr. Robert Wesolowski is a medical oncologist who works closely with the Carson Lab on clinical cancer studies. He recently joined the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) Jan 2021, as co-leader – Disease Focused Clinical Investigators (DFCIs), Women’s Malignancies Section
Mallory Divincenzo, DVM, Veterinary Anatomic Pathology Resident and PhD Candidate in the Carson Lab will be graduating in May. She recently attended the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Virtual Annual Meeting and presented her poster submission “MicroRNA expression patterns in melanomas originating from gynecologic sites.” November 2020
Dr. Dione Quiroga, a medical oncologist, is on a T32 Fellowship and completing her clinical research in the lab. Please help us congratulate Dr. Quiroga on her receipt of the OSU Cancer Intramural Supportive Care Pilot Research Award. 2021-2022, “Characterizing the systemic inflammatory effects of breast cancer lymphedema correcting surgeries”.
She recently attended the 2020 San Antonia Breast Cancer Symposium and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Annual Meeting. She will be attending the 2021 American Society for Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting as well as the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.
Dr. Quiroga is an invited speaker to the March 8th, 2021, Michigan State University DO/PhD Seminar Series. She is currently serving as a Trainee Reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Listed below are recent Abstracts-poster submissions by Dr. Quiroga:
Collier K, Rogers A, Cottini F, Hanel W, Bustamante-Alvarez J, Jain N, George T, Rogers S, Brown L, Koenig K, Singer S, Ali A, Eisfeld A, Patel SH, Quiroga D, Memmott R, Denlinger N, Sigmund A, Husain M, Sahasrabudhe K, Sukumar J, Gast K, Sukumar S, Walker A, Otterson G, Doll H. Improving Referral Rates to Genetic Counseling for Young Patients Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer [oral presentation]. 2020 Ohio State University Resident/Fellow QI Symposium; 2020 Oct 26; virtual format.
Goldstein D, Kassem M, Quiroga D, Miah A, Vargo C, Shinde NV, Berger M, Williams N, Stover D, Sardesai S, Wesolowski R, Lustberg M, Ramaswamy B, Tozbikian G, Schnell P, Cherian MA. Immunomodulation with dexamethasone in neoadjuvant chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer. [Poster presentation]. 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2020 Dec 8-12; virtual format.
Sukumar J, Quiroga D, Kassem M, Grimm M, Vilas Shinde N, Palettas M, Stephens J, Cherian M, Stover D, Williams N, Van Deusen J, Wesolowski R, Lustberg M, Ramaswamy B, Sardesai S. Patient preferences and treatment adherence to adjuvant ovarian suppression among premenopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer. [Accepted for poster presentation]. NCCN 2021 Virtual Annual Conference; 2021 Mar 18-20; virtual format.
Dr. Deb Sundi is an urologist specializing in urologic oncology and conducts research in collaboration with the Carson lab. He has recently been selected to chair a scientific ‘breakout’ session at the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Think Tank – Biologic Sex Differences in Bladder Cancer and to score abstract submissions and moderate the scientific session for 2021 American Urological Association annual meeting – Bladder Cancer: Basic Science and Pathophysiology. He serves as a “Star Reviewer” for Urologic Oncology 2020.
Dr. Sundi is a contributing author to ASCO abstract: PrE0807: A Phase Ib Feasibility Trial of Neoadjuvant Nivolumab without or with Lirilumab in Cisplatin-Ineligible Patients with Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer.
Congratulations are in order for Dr. Sundi’s recent DOD Career Development award – Discovery of Sex Specific Immune Biomarkers of Bladder Cancer.
Steve Sun a general surgery resident is conducting research in our lab on a T32 fellowship. He will be finishing his Master’s Degree and presenting for Surgery Grand Rounds in April. Dr. Sun along with his undergraduate research assistant, Gabriella Lapurga, had their abstract submitted to the Society of Surgical Oncologists, accepted for oral presentation during the 2021 SSO virtual meeting in March. “Differences in Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cell Populations in Patients with Ulcerated vs Non-ulcerated Melanoma Receiving Immune Checkpoint Blockade”
Carson Lab Recent Publications:
Benner, B. Observations on the use of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors in SARS-CoV-2 and cancer. Journal of Hematology and Oncology
McCaw ZR, Odisho AY, Chaparala H, Yin M, Cloyd J, Svatek RS, Carson WE, Lee CT, Sundi D. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in bladder cancer: Clinical benefit observed in prospective trials computed with restricted mean survival times. Jan 2021 Urologic Oncology
Sukumar J, Gast K, Quiroga D, Lustberg M, Williams N. Triple-negative breast cancer: promising prognostic biomarkers currently in development. Expert Rev Anticancer Therapy. 2020, DOI: 10.1080/14737140.2021.1840984
Blaszczak AM, Quiroga D (co-first author), Jalilvand A, Torres Matias GS, Wright VP, Liu J, Bradley D, Hsueh WA, Carson WE 3rd. Characterization of inflammatory changes in breast cancer associated adipose tissue in comparison to contralateral unaffected breast. Clinical Breast Cancer. [In review]
Steve Sun, a General Surgery resident at OSU, has joined the Carson Lab as a postdoctoral research fellow under the T32 ARTIST grant. His current research focuses on targeted inhibition of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase and its effect on myeloid derived suppressor cells.
The Carson Lab is welcoming back three Undergraduate Research Assistants for the 2019-2020 academic year – Zoe Barricklow, Logan Good and Gabby Lapurga.
Progress in Research
Carson Lab, T32 Fellow, Mallory DiVincenzo recently attended the Annual Short Course on Experimental Models of Human Cancer sponsored by Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. Dr. DiVincenzo presented her research “Determining Micro-RNA Patterns in Ulcerated Melanoma.”
We couldn’t be prouder. Introducing Andrew Stiff MD, PhD Carson Lab member extraordinaire. Congratulations Andy!
Congratulations to our graduating seniors Maribelle Moufawad and Julia Sabella. Med schools here they come – Central Michigan and OSU respectively!
We are on a roll….Congrats to our undergrad research assistant Logan Good. He was awarded a Pelotonia Scholarship and will continue to work with us his senior year.
Pelatonia 2019 – Working together we can achieve great things
Pies and Goodbyes. We celebrated our Carson Lab Graduating Seniors with a special pizza dinner (Dr. Carson is ALL about pizza). Lab members old and new turned out!
One step closer to the cure. Carson lab graduate student, Brooke Benner, presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in Atlanta in April.
We look forward to the annual Carson Lab Christmas party all year long. Each lab member spends lots of time “researching” and creating the perfect Christmas craft project for our annual competition. This year’s ornament competition resulted in a 2 way tie.
But there’s no competing with Dr. Carson’s Christmas vest- improvements are made annually!
Our new undergrads are here! Zoe and Gabby are the newest members of our team. Both are busy learning the lab basics from our graduating seniors. We are looking forward to seeing their research skills expand over the next few years. We love our undergrads!!
Congratulations to our senior undergrad Luke. If we let him Luke would live in the lab. Watch the video below to learn about how the Pelotonia Fellowship Program funds have supported Luke’s lab research. His hard work ethic has paid off with a University Graduate Fellowship supporting his graduate studies next year at The Ohio State University.
Please congratulate Julia on her recent acceptance to The Ohio State University Medical School! Julia has been volunteering in the Carson lab since her freshman year. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. We are so proud of her accomplishments. Watch the video below to learn about how the Pelotonia Fellowship Program funds have supported Julia’s lab research.
Stay tuned! We have wrapped up several key studies and have corresponding publications pending. Two new publications were recently released:
Latchana N, DiVincenzo MJ, Regan K, Abrams Z, Zhang X, Jacob NK, Gru AA, Fadda P, Markowitz J, Howard JH, Carson WE 3rd. Alterations in patient plasma microRNA expression profiles following resection of metastatic melanoma. J Surg Oncol. 2018 Sep;118(3):501-509. doi: 10.1002/jso.25163. Epub 2018 Aug 21. PubMed PMID: 30132912; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6160327.
Olaverria Salavaggione GN, Duggan MC, Carson WE. Analysis of MLN4924 (pevonedistat) as a potential therapeutic agent in malignant melanoma. Melanoma Res. 2018 Oct;28(5):390-397. doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000474. PubMed PMID: 30020196; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6110958.
She is hard to keep up with! Our grad student, Brooke Benner, is traveling to the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual conference where she has been invited to share our research relating to Dr. Wesolowski’s new clinical trial of the targeted agent ibrutinib in combination with nivolumab – OSU Study 18015 which is based directly on Carson Lab science.
She will arrive home just in time to travel to Boston to run the marathon. She has been starting off her mornings with 18 mile runs before she hits the lab. She is hard to keep up with! Good luck Brooke.
The Carson Lab family expanded September 11 with the addition of our Post Doc Megan Duggan’s son Joey.
Alicia Blaszczak will be presenting her work entitled “Increased Anti-Inflammatory T-cells in a Novel Evaluation of Adipose Tissue in Breast Carcinoma” at the 14th Annual Academic Surgical Congress to be held February 5-7, 2019 in Houston, TX
Dr. Rob Wesolowski has just opened a new clinical trial of the targeted agent ibrutinib in combination with nivolumab – OSU Study 18015 which is based directly on Carson Lab science.
Wesolowski R, Duggan MC, Stiff A, Markowitz J, Trikha P, Levine KM, Schoenfield L, Abdel-Rasoul M, Layman R, Ramaswamy B, Macrae ER, Lustberg MB, Reinbolt RE, Mrozek E, Byrd JC, Caligiuri MA, Mace TA, Carson WE. Circulating myeloid-derived suppressor cells increase in patients undergoing neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy. 2017
Markowitz J, Wang J, Vangundy Z, You J, Yildiz V, Yu L, Foote IP, Branson OE, Stiff AR, Brooks TR, Biesiadecki B, Olencki T, Tridandapani S, Freitas MA, Papenfuss T, Phelps MA, Carson WE. Nitric oxide mediated inhibition of antigen presentation from DCs to CD4+ T cells in cancer and measurement of STAT1 nitration. Science Reports. 2018
Suarez-Kelly LP, Akagi K, Reeser JW, Samorodnitsky E, Reeder M, Smith A, Roychowdhury S, Symer DE, Carson WE. Metaplastic breast cancer in a patient with neurofibromatosis type 1 and somatic loss of heterozygosity. Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies. 2018
Stiff A, Trikha P, Mundy-Bosse B, McMichael E, Mace TA, Benner B, Kendra K, Campbell A, Gautam S, Abood D, Landi I, Hsu V, Duggan M, Wesolowski R, Old M, Howard JH, Yu L, Stasik N, Olencki T, Muthusamy N, Tridandapani S, Byrd JC, Caligiuri M, Carson WE. Nitric Oxide Production by Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Plays a Role in Impairing Fc Receptor-Mediated Natural Killer Cell Function. Clinical Cancer Research. 2018
Lai X, Stiff A, Duggan M, Wesolowski R, Carson WE, Friedman A. Modeling combination therapy for breast cancer with BET and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences U S A. 2018.
Himanshu Savardekar was recently hired as a Research Assistant in the Carson Lab and will be coordinating the procurement of patient samples and act as the lead tech on our animal studies.
Andrew Stiff, a former lab member who received his PhD degree while in our lab, is returning to the Carson lab through the Ohio State College of Medicine Advanced Competency in Biomedical Research program and will be continuing his research while completing medical school.
Our senior undergraduate volunteers were able to spend the summer in the lab thanks to their hard work on lab projects that awarded them Pelatonia and other undergraduate research scholarships. This awesome group of 4 (Luke, Maribelle, Julia and Erin) will be helping us recruit and train new volunteers this spring. It will be with mixed feelings that we celebrate their graduations in May.
The Carson Crew was proud to be a part of the annual 2018 Pelotonia bike tour. Find out more about Pelotonia’s objective to fund life-saving cancer research:
Dr. Carson was honored to receive support from the GIVE 18 FORE CANCER RESEARCH ORGANIZATION. The funding will support the lab’s continuing advances in cancer immunotherapy research.
Follow Link Below for More Information:
(June 7 Give 18 Fore Cancer Research Facebook)
Our newest brand ambassador Dr. William Carson, cancer researcher @osuccc_james. GIVE18 proudly supported Dr. Carson’s immunology research with funds from our 2017 campaign. We keep driving FORE a cure! Join our foursome in the fight against cancer. #cancerresearch#GIVE18 #research #cancertoucheseveryone #cancerfreeworld#cancersurvivors #cancerfighter #cancers #cancerprevention#cancerwarrior #doctors #scientists #friendsgiving #giveback#ohiostateuniversity #thejamescancerhospital#comprehensivecancercenter #buckeyenation #golf#golfersmakingadifference #fore #titleist #followus
First year medical student Casey Ren is joining the lab for the summer to complete a research project studying microRNAs in melanoma.
Kallie Jiang is joining the lab for the summer as a member of the SUCCESS (Summer Undergraduate Course Creating Excellence in Scientific Study) summer program. Kallie is an undergraduate at Oberlin College and will be working with Brooke studying tumor associated macrophages.
The annual Carson Lab BBQ took place on June 24, 2017! This year was extra special as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Carson Lab! Congratulations to Dr. Carson and all lab members past and present.
At the BBQ, Lorena, Andrew and Megan were all honored for their time in the lab as recipients of the LT Furbrush Award.
Megan Duggan and Andrew Stiff successfully defended their dissertations. Congratulations doctors!
Dr. Carson hooded Megan at Ohio State’s May 2017 commencement ceremony.
Undergraduate researchers Nico Olaverria Salavaggione, David Abood, Tiffany Noel and Kristin Bede all graduated from OSU this spring!
David Abood and Nico Olaverria Salavaggione successfully defended their undergraduate research theses!
David Abood accepted a position as a full time Research Assistant with the Carson Lab following his graduation.
The Carson lab was very excited to welcome it’s newest and youngest member this spring – Dr. Suarez-Kelly welcomed son Maximus in January!
Nick Courtney received a prestigious Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellowship for the 2017-2018 school year.
Dr. Suarez-Kelly and Dr. Pinette attended the 2017 Society for Surgical Oncology meeting where both presented research.
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program student Brooke Benner officially joined the Carson Lab as a Graduate Research Assistant.
The annual Carson Lab holiday party took place in December and a wonderful time was had by all! (Below, Dr. Carson and Dr. Pinette celebrate in festive attire!)
Liz McMichael, Megan Duggan and Andrew Stiff attended the annual AACR meeting in New Orleans in April. Each student presented a poster and interacted in a collegial and scholarly manner with other like-minded students at various Bourbon Street locations. Megan Duggan’s poster was chosen for an award.
PhD candidate Megan Duggan won a 2016 AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar award at the 2016 AACR annual meeting. Congratulations Megan! In June of this year, Megan Duggan was awarded a second year of funding via the “Systems and Integrative Biology” (SIB) T32 Training Fellowship in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.
Liz McMichael defended her thesis in April 2016, graduated and accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh in the research Group of Dr. Robert L. Ferris. Way to go Liz! We will miss you.
Amanda Harper graduated from the Carson Lab and is pursuing her MD in the OSU College of Medical School.
Dr. Carson and family hosted the annual Carson Lab BBQ on June 25, 2016.
Liz McMichael and Amanda Harper received momentos of their accomplishments and were awarded the prestigious LT Furbrush Award.
Nico Olaverria Salavaggione and Tiffany Noel spent the summer months of 2016 as Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellows and completed exciting projects. Nico studied the role of the proteasome inhibitors in malignant melanoma with Megan Duggan and Tiffany studied immune suppressor cells and their effects on natural killer cells with Lorena Suarez-Kelly.
David Abood and Nicholas Courtney received prestigious Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowships through the Undergraduate Research Office. A special shout out goes to Ben for his help in this endeavor.
The summer brought many new talented students to the lab: Brooke Benner, Megann Boone, and Mark Hahn are currently pursuing their doctoral degrees through the Biomedical Sciences Program and participated in a summer rotation in the Carson Lab. Brooke studied the expression of NRAS isoform 2 in sarcoma. Megann studied the ability to target myeloid derived suppressor cells through tissue factor expression. And Mark studied the role of BRD4 in myeloid derived suppressor cell function.
Walter Wang is pursuing a MD/PhD through the Medical Sciences Training Program and had a successful summer rotation studying the potential therapeutic role of fluorescent nanodiamonds with Lorena.
Madison Krischak is student from Duke University who participated in the SUCCESS (Summer Undergraduate Course Creating Excellence in Scientific Study) program. It was wonderful to have had Madison in the lab. Good luck back at Duke Madison.
Welcoming Ashley Pinette, he has accepted a T32 Fellowship with the Carson Lab. Ash is a General Surgery resident at Wright State University who is taking two years to learn the ins and outs of bench research. Ash is currently studying the effects of interleukin-15 on human natural killer cells and their ability to destroy head and neck cancer cells.
Meet Carson Lab member Tiffany Noel. Tiffany is a 2016 Pelotonia Fellow with an inspiring story.
Amanda Campbell attended the Keystone Immunotherapy Conference in Vancouver in January. She presented a poster entitled “MICA-Expressing monocytes enhance natural killer cell Fc receptor-mediated effector functions”.
We recently welcomed our new lab manager, Ruthann Norman! We’re so excited!
Megan Duggan and Andrew Stiff successfully completed their candidacy exams in March. Congrats!
Amanda Campbell successfully defended her thesis in March. Congrats, Dr!
Nick Courtney, Nico Salavaggione, David Abood, Sarvani Uppati, and Tiffany Noel all presented posters at the annual OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum in March. Good work!
Elizabeth McMichael attended the SITC conference and gave a poster presentation of her work with IL-21 and cetuximab in pancreatic cancer.
Megan Duggan attended the Society for Melanoma Research 2015 Melanoma Conference and gave a poster presentation of her work with NRAS isoforms in melanoma.
Amanda Campbell (Harper) was awarded a Graduate Student Pelotonia Fellowship and Megan Duggan was awarded a SIB T32 Training Fellowship from the BSGP at Ohio State.
MD/PhD candidates Amanda Campbell and Andrew Stiff were selected to give oral presentations at the MSTP summer retreat.
Nick Courtney joined the Carson Lab as an undergraduate research associate.
BSGP first year graduate student Bailey Dye began rotating in the lab. Bailey is working on a project looking at the different isoforms of NRAS in sarcomas.
NIH T32 postdoctoral fellow Lorena Suarez-Kelly joined the Carson Lab following her residency at Memorial University.
April- June 2015
Undergraduate SUCCESS student Michelle Culbertson joined the Carson lab for the summer from her home institution of Arizona State University.
Graduate student Elizabeth McMichael gave her talk, entitled, “IL-21 enhances natural killer cell activity against cetuximab-coated pancreatic tumor cells.” at the OSU Department of Surgery Research Day. Dr. Nicholas Latchana also presented his talk, entitled, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by MicroRNA Profiling.”
Dr. Nicholas Latchana won 1st place in Oncology at the Annual American College of Surgeons Ohio Chapter Meeting for his oral presentation on Global MicroRNA Profiling of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions.
January- March 2015
Carson Lab undergraduates Gonzalo Nico Olaverria Salavaggione and Tiffany Noel were awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Institute scholarships to work in the lab full time over the summer of 2015.
Gonzalo Olaverria-Salavaggione and Tiffany Noel joined the Carson lab as undergraduate volunteers.
Amanda Harper, an MD/PhD candidate in the Carson Lab, had a talk at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center Translational Therapeutics retreat entitled, “A Factor VII-IgG Fc Fusion Protein and Interleukin-15 to Promote Natural Killer Cell Activity Against Metastatic Melanoma.”
Elizabeth McMichael, a PhD candidate in the Carson lab, had a poster at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center Translational Therapeutics retreat entitled, “Enhancement of cetuximab-induced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity with lenalidomide in advanced solid tumors: A Phase I trial.”
Dr. Prashant Trikha, a senior researcher in the Carson lab, had a poster at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center Translational Therapeutics retreat entitled, “Modulation of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Function with Ibrutinib, a Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor.”
Dr. Nicholas Latchana, a surgical resident in the Carson lab, had a poster at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center Translational Therapeutics retreat entitled, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by MicroRNA Profiling.” IBGP first year graduate student Leslee Sprague began rotating in the lab. Les is working on a project looking at the genes involved in Dr. Carson’s clinical trial OSU-07033, “A Pilot Study of IFN-alpha-2b Dose Reduction with Dose Optimization” in patients with melanoma.
Amanda Harper attended the SITC conference and gave an oral presentation of her work, entitled, “Monocyte Expression of MICA Enhances the Natural Killer Cell Response to Antibody- Coated Tumor Targets.”
Amanda Harper and Elizabeth McMichael were chosen to give talks at the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Retreat. Amanda Harper gave her talk on, “Monocyte Expression of MICA Enhances the Natural Killer Cell Response to Antibody- Coated Tumor Targets.” Elizabeth McMichael gave her talk, entitled, “IL-21 enhances natural killer cell activity against cetuximab-coated pancreatic tumor cells.”
Dr. Joseph Markowtiz, MD/PhD attended the AACR Immunology meeting in Florida and presented his poster entitled, “Nitroaspirins abrogate myeloid derived suppressor cell inhibition of dendritic cell antigen presentation to CD4+ T cells in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.”
Carson lab first year IBGP graduate student Megan Duggan was awarded a Career Development Grant from the Council of Graduate Students.
The entire Carson Lab participated in the OSU CCC James’ Hope for the Holiday program, and was able to help make Christmas gifts possible for a family of four.
July – September 2014
Andrew Stiff officially joined the Carson Lab as a graduate research fellow in order to complete the PhD portion of his dual MD/PhD degree.
Katia Fernandez-Soto presented her presentation and poster entitled, “IL-21 Enhances the Natural Killer Cell Response to Cetuximab-Coated Pancreatic Tumor Cells” at the end-of-the-summer SUCCESS student research forum.
Katia, Smita, and Akaansha completed their summer research projects and returned to their home institutions. Good luck!
Amanda Harper, an MD/PhD candidate in the Carson Lab, presented her work entitled, “Characterization of IL-2 Receptor Alpha Expression on Dual Stimulated Natural Killer Cells” for the Medical Scientist Student Organization retreat.
Andrew Stiff, an MD/PhD candidate in the Carson Lab, presented his talk, “Using cancer epigenetics to enhance the therapeutic potential of reovirus in multiple myeloma” for the Pelotonia committee.
Dr. Nicholas Latchana, a surgical resident in the Carson lab, presented his talk entitled, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by MicroRNA Profiling” at the Perspectives in Melanoma XVIII conference in Dublin, Ireland.
Elizabeth McMichael successfully passed her candidacy exam. Congrats!
Andrew Stiff, an MD/PhD student, rotated in the Carson Lab. He worked on a project examining the effects of NRAS in melanoma.
Katia Fernandez-Soto, an undergraduate student from the University of Notre Dame, joined the Carson lab for the summer to work on a project involving the Folate Fc receptor.
Smita Madhukar, an undergraduate student from IISER-Pune in India, joined the Carson Lab in order to complete a summer research project in collaboration with Pelotonia and her home institution.
Akaansha Ganju, an M2 from NEOMED, joined the Carson lab in order to complete a summer research project.
Megan Duggan, former Carson Lab employee, matriculated to graduate school in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and officially joined the lab as a graduate research fellow.
Dr. Nicholas Latchana, a surgical resident in the Carson lab, presented on his project, “miR-21 Enhances Melanoma Invasiveness via Inhibition of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases 3 Expression: In vivo Effects of miR 21 Inhibitor” at the OSU Department of Surgery Research Day.
Dr. Nicholas Latchana, a surgical resident in the Carson lab, presented his poster entitled, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by MicroRNA Profiling” at the ACS Ohio Annual Chapter Meeting in Cleveland, OH.
Undergraduate Jyh-haur Vincent Hsu has been awarded a summer fellowship! He received the Undergraduate Education Research Fellowship.
Undergraduate Gregory Kemper has been awarded a summer fellowship! He received the Undergraduate Education Research Fellowship.
The Carson Lab was well represented at the Wexner Medical Center’s annual Research Day, with general surgery resident Dr. Nicholas Latchana presenting his poster, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by Micro RNA Profiling.” Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Joseph Markowitz presenting his poster, “Immune Suppressive Myeloid Cells are Induced During Disease Progression in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.” MD/PhD trainee Amanda Harper presenting her poster, “Monocyte Expression of MICA Enhances the Natural Killer Cell Response to Antibody-Coated Tumor Targets.” Finally, PhD candidate Elizabeth McMichael presented her poster, “Enhancement of Cetuximab Induced Antibody Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity with Lenalidomide in Advanced Solid Tumors: A Phase I Trial.”
Prashant Trikha, PhD attended the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego. Dr. Trikha’s abstract for this meeting was, “MDSC-generated nitric oxide leads to an impairment of NK cell functions in metastatic melanoma patients.”
Joseph Markowitz, MD/PhD also attended attended the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Diego.
Undergraduate Gregory Kemper attended the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Nicholas Latchana, a surgical resident in the Carson lab, presented his poster entitled, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by MicroRNA Profiling” at the OSUWMC 12th Annual Trainee Research Day.
Amanda Harper (MD/PhD- in-training) won first place at the annual MSTP Winter Retreat for her talk entitled, “Utilizing a Factor VII-IgG1 Fc Fusion Protein and Interleukin-15 to Promote Natural Killer Cell Activity in the Treatment of Cancer.”
Undergraduate student researcher Gregory Kemper won second place in a poster presentation at the Natural and Mathematical Sciences Research Forum for his poster entitled, “The Combination of MLN2238 with Inferferon-α Results in Synergistic Cell Death in Melanoma.”
Undergraduate student Jyh-haur Vincent Hsu presented a poster at the Denman Forum entitled, “Targeting Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment.”
Undergraduate Gregory Kemper presented his posted, “The Combination of MLN2238 with Inferferon-α Results in Synergistic Cell Death in Melanoma” at the Denman Forum.
Carson Lab undergraduate Kallan Opheim has been awarded the Mayer’s Summer Research Scholarship for the summer of 2014!
The Carson Lab would like to welcome new undergraduate volunteer, Sarvani Uppati.
Joseph Markowitz, MD attended the 2014 Translational Research Cancer Centers Consortium in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. Joseph had an invited talk entitled, “Inhibition of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Pancreas Cancer.”
Dr. Nicholas Latchana, a surgical resident in the Carson lab, presented on his project, “Classification of Indeterminate Melanocytic Lesions by MicroRNA Profiling” at the Academic Surgical Conress in San Diego, CA.
Dr. Carson and Dr. Glaser’s clinical trial entitled, “A pilot study of beta-blockers in patients with advanced cancer” was opened by the Clinical Trials Office. This study is collaboration with Dr.Binkley, Dr. Kendra, Dr. Lemeshow, and Dr. Thomas Olencki.
The Carson Lab celebrated another year’s end with a white elephant gift exchange and an ugly sweater party at Buca di Beppo. Dr. Carson was the proud recipient of an oil painting portrait of himself, crafted by a Research Associate in the lab.
On November 20th, Amanda Harper passed her candidacy exam for graduate school. Go Amanda!
A manuscript from the Carson Lab entitled, “A Phase I trial of Bortezomib and Interferon Alpha-2B in Metastatic Melanoma” was accepted for publication by the Journal of Immunotherapy
IBGP first year graduate student Christina Knippler rotated in the Carson Lab. Christina worked with Elizabeth McMichael on projects involving the folate receptor, including in vitro and in vivo studies.
An implementation meeting for the new clinical trial “A pilot study of beta-blockers in patients with advanced cancer” was held this month.
Megan Duggan, who previously worked in Dr. Glaser’s lab, was hired by the Carson Lab! Megan will be managing the clinical trial “A pilot study of beta-blockers in patients with advanced cancer” for the Carson Lab.
The Carson lab welcomes new undergraduate volunteer Kallan Opheim.
Dr. Carson and Dr. Glaser’s clinical trial entitled, “A pilot study of beta-blockers in patients with advanced cancer” was approved by the Institutional Review Board. This study is a collaboration with Dr.Binkley, Dr. Kendra, Dr. Lemeshow, and Dr. Thomas Olencki.
The Carson Lab welcomes Megan Duggan, who will be working on a vaccine study and doing basic science research. Megan will manage the Beta-Blockers clinical trial on the lab side.
MD/PhD first year medical student Anisley Valenciaga rotated in the Carson lab. During her time in the lab, she worked on optimizing the annexin/PI assay for Caron Lab on cells treated with novel pharmaceuticals.
The Carson Lab would like to wish “good luck” to Bonnie Paul, who is leaving for a position as a clinical research assistant in Cardiovascular Medicine. Bonnie worked in the Carson lab for 3 years as a Research Assistant, helping with our clinical research on immune suppressor cells.
The Carson Lab welcomes Dr. Nicholas Latchana, the newest surgical resident to take time out for research. Nick will be continuing Sara’s work on miRs in melanoma.
Dr. Martin del Campo’s work with University of Mississippi Medical Center entitled “Metastatic Melanoma: Lactate Dehydrogenase Levels and CT Imaging Findings of Tumor Devascularization Allow Accurate Prediction of Survival in Patients Treated with Bevacizumab” was published in Radiology. Congratulations, Sara!
Dr. Martin del Campo has finished her stint in the Carson Lab and is returning to work as a third year surgical resident. During her time in the Carson Lab Sara worked on projects involving miRs in melanoma, and a clinical trial involving dose optimization of Cetuximab in head and neck cancer patients. Best wishes, Sara!
The Carson Lab would like to welcome Elizabeth McMichael, a graduate student who will be earning her PhD with us!
Good luck and best wishes to Dr. Cristina Jaime-Ramirez as she departs the Carson Lab to go on to new opportunities as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kaur in the Department of Neurological Surgery! We will miss you!
January – March 2013
IBGP student Elizabeth McMichael rotated through the Carson lab this winter. During her rotation Liz completed work on the clinical trial “Enhancement of Cetuximab-Induced Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC) with Lenalidomide in Advanced Solid Tumors: A Phase I Study” and presented the unified data to the lab.
Carson Lab undergraduate researcher Gregory Kemper received an honorable mention at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum for his poster presentation.
Gregory Kemper was awarded the prestigious DAAD RISE (Deutcher Akadmedischer Austausch Dienst [German Academic Exhange Service] Research Interships in Engineering) Internship. Greg will be conducting research in Germany for the summer of 2013 !!
Cristina Jaime-Ramirez successfully defended her thesis, entitled “The NK Cell-mediated Anti-tumor Effects of a Folate-conjugated Immunoglobulin are Enhanced by Cytokines”. Congratulations Dr. Jaime-Ramirez!
Dr. Joseph Markowitz was awarded the highly prestigious Postdoctoral Pelotonia Fellowship Program. This program “provides two-year research fellowships for up to 12 of the brightest and most promising postdoctoral candidates who want to help cure cancer”.
Accrual to Dr. Carson’s investigator-initiated trial of IL-12 and cetuximab in patients with head and neck cancer is continuing at a very successful rate.
September – December 2012
IBGP student Nicholas Chesarino rotated through the Carson lab. During his rotation Nick completed work on the clinical trial “Enhancement of cetuximab-induced Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC) with lenalidomide in advanced solid tumors: A phase I study.”
Megan Duggan joined the Carson Lab as a collaborator from Dr. Glaser’s lab to work on clinical trials.
Dr. Neela Bhave has left the lab for an opportunity as a Clinical research Coordinator in the clinical trials office at OSU. During her 5 years in the Carson Lab, Neela worked on the characterization of the interaction between NK cells and Monocytes as well as the expression of IL-2Ra and IL21R in NK cells. Good luck Neela!
The Carson Lab would like to welcome MD/PhD candidate Amanda Harper.
Cristina Jaime Ramirez was selected to present her research at the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Annual Retreat.
July and August 2012
Kala Levine joined our group as a research assistant
Taylor Brooks was awarded a Pelatonia Grant to perform undergraduate research on the role of immune suppressor cells in patients with pancreatic cancer
Liz Foust was married on August 11th and has left the lab and moved to Toledo to work at Promedica Hospitals as a Medical Technologist.
Dr. Joseph Markowitz was awarded $10,000 in Seed Funds from the OSU CCC for his project: Synthesis of inhibitors of myeloid derived suppressor cell function.
Taylor Brooks is presenting a poster on his project at the OSU Undergraduate Student Poster Forum.
May and June 2012
Dr. Prashant Trikha has joined our group as a Research Scientist. He will be investigating mechanisms of immune suppression in the setting of cancer. Welcome Prashant!
Undergraduates Cassandra Skinner, ThaoVi Dao and Jennifer Clark all have graduated from The Ohio State University and will be moving forward with their careers.
ThaoVi Dao and Jennifer Clark were accepted to Wright State Medical School.
Cassandra and Jen passed their honors thesis with flying colors.
Dr. Eric Luedke finished his two year post-doctoral research project and has returned to the wards to complete his residency.
Dr. Luedke’s manuscript “Cetuximab Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer: Immune Modulation with Interleukin-12 and Other Natural Killer Cell Activating Cytokines” has been accepted to the journal Surgery.
Gregory Kemper and Mary Carson will be volunteering in the laboratory for the summer.
Dr. Sara Martin del Campo won 3rd place at the OSU Department of Surgery Annual Research Conference.
Dr. Eric Luedke had a successful presentation of his data on the therapy of Head and Neck cancer with cetuximab and IL-12 at the Society of University Surgeons Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 16. He fielded all questions with equanimity and aplomb.
IBGP student Ms. Priscilla Do is now rotating through the Carson Lab and she has made great strides in her efforts to stain tumors for various immune suppressor cells.
The next Carson lab meeting will be a special affair to be held in the context of the OSUCCC Annual Scientific meeting.
The Carson lab celebrated the accomplishments of 2011 and the graduation of Dr. Bethany Mundy-Bosse at the restaurant “Buca di Beppo” in the Arena District of Downtown Columbus on December 23. A wonderful meal was enjoyed in the famous “Pope Room” – so named for its decorating theme honoring Pope Benedict XVI.
Joining the Carson lab for her honors thesis is Meghan Flannery. Meghan is a junior at Otterbein College.
Ian Landi joined the Carson Lab as an undergraduate volunteer.
Dr. Carson’s clinical trial – OSU 11010 / IRB 2011C0019: “A Phase I/II Trial of Cetuximab in Combination with Interleukin-12 Administered to Patients with Unresectable Primary or Recurrent Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck” is now IRB approved and ready to accrue new patients.
November was an auspicious month for the Carson lab as undergraduate researcher Ms. Cassandra Skinner was awarded an OSU Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship for $6000 and an Academic Enrichment Grant for $500. IBGP student Juan E. Santiago Torres finished his fall rotation in the Carson lab and successfully presented his work concerning the regulation of the IL-21 receptor on natural killer cells. In addition, Dr. Eric Luedke found that he will be presenting his paper entitled “Cetuximab Therapy In Head And Neck Cancer: Immune Modulation With Interleukin-12” at the 7th Annual Academic Surgical Congress to be held February 14-16, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. As the saying goes, “What gets presented in Vegas is later published outside of Vegas”.
Mundy Defends Thesis. Doctoral student Bethany Mundy-Bosse successfully defended her thesis on July 20th, 2011. The title of her thesis was “Myeloid-derived suppressor cells in tumor immunology”. Bethany will graduate this summer and participate in the traditional hooding ceremony with Dr. Carson on August 28th.
Jaime-Ramirez Passes Candidacy Exam. Doctoral student Cristina Jaime-Ramirez successfully passed her candidacy examination on July 15th, 2011. The title of her thesis was “Characterization of the anti-tumor effects of a novel folate-immunoglobulin G conjugate.” Cristina is continuing her studies in Dr. Carson’s lab and is currently evaluating the activity of other folate immunoconjugates.
Dr. Valerie Grignol won 1st place at the Wright State University Department of Surgery Dan W. Elliott Resident Research Symposium for her presentation of a project entitled “Increased miR-21 activity enhances invasion and directly targets TIMP3 expression in melanoma”. Also during her time in the Carson Lab, Dr. Grignol showed that biodegradable microcapsules were capable of releasing the anti-tumor cytokine interferon-alph-2B in a continuous fashion and that this led to a potent anti-tumor effect in a murine melanoma model. Dr. Grignol was supported in Dr. Carson’s laboratory by an NIH T32 award.
Bethany Mundy-Bosse Set to Defend. Doctoral student Bethany Mundy-Bosse has completed her thesis entitled “Myeloid-derived suppressor cells in tumor immunology” and will defend it following a public presentation on July 20th, 2011 at 9 am in Starling Loving Hall Room M100. Mrs. Mundy-Bosse recently published her novel work on myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the journal Cancer Research.
Carson Lab Barbeque a Success. Carson lab employees and their families gathered at Dr. Carson’s home this past month to enjoy tasty food (thank you Mrs. Carson!), thirst-quenching libations, the bright Ohio sunshine, and a highly competitive game of Dallas Cowboy brand cornhole in celebration of another year of hard work in the pursuit of cancer cures. During the BBQ, Valerie Grignol was honored with the highly prestigious LT Furbrush Award. She also received the OSU Nanotechnology Medal of Honor.