Lab News

Welcome PSTP student Sneha Srinivasan

The lab welcomes Sneha Srinivasan who joins us to undertake her PSTP research focused on the role of SIRT3 in anchorage independent cancer cell survival via alterations of redox-landscape!

Sneha received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. After graduating she spend one year at the NIH studying B-cell immunology, before starting medical school at the University of Pittsburgh.

Hempel Lab graduate students will present their work at SfRBM in Orlando Nov 16-19

Congratulations to graduate students Shriya Kamlapurkar for receiving a travel award and invitation to give her first talk at a national meeting! In addition, graduate students Zaineb Javed will be presenting a talk, and Amal Elhaw and Priscilla Tang will be presenting posters at the conference! We are all very much looking forward to seeing our Redox Biology colleagues again in person and discussing our latest research!

New Publication in Redox Biology

Congratulations to former graduate student Yeon Soo Kim, PhD and current student Priscilla Tang on their recent publication in Redox Biology entitled: “HuR-dependent SOD2 protein synthesis is an early adaptation to anchorage-independence”.

We previously demonstrated that metastatic tumor cells up regulate and require SOD2 for optimal metastatic spread. This study explores how protein synthesis of the mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme SOD2 is rapidly increased in response to culture of tumor cells in anchorage independence. We found that SOD2 protein levels increase within hours of cellular detachment prior to changes in SOD2 transcription, and that the RNA binding protein HuR/ELAVL1 is responsible for SOD2 mRNA translation in this context. The full article can be found here.

This work demonstrates that tumor cells have the ability to acutely enhance the protein synthesis of SOD2 in response to stress associated with cellular detachment during metastasis.

Welcome Sierra and Shriya!

The lab welcomes new post-doctoral researcher Sierra White and graduate student Shriya Kamlapurkar to the lab. Sierra joins us after completing her PhD in the lab of Dr Vikas Anathy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Vermont earlier this year. Shriya is a graduate student in the interdisciplinary biomedical graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and will undertake her thesis work in the lab. We are excited that Shriya and Sierra have decided to join our group!

Sierra White, PhD
Shriya Kamlapurkar

Amal awarded AACR Scholar-in-Training Travel Award

Congratulations to graduate student Amal Elhaw for receiving a Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research!
Amal will present her work on RhoV in Ovarian Cancer at the AACR annual meeting in New Orleans April 8-13, 2022.
She will be joined at the conference by Nadine, and graduate students Zaineb Javed and Priscilla Tang, who will also present their research.
If you are attending in person, come and talk to us at their posters!

Students score hat-trick at SfRBM annual meeting

Congratulations to Priscilla Tang, Amal Elhaw and Zaineb Javed for all receiving Young Investigator Awards at the annual SfRBM meeting for their posters (Amal & Priscilla) and oral presentation (Zaineb). Of note as well: Amal received the Larry Oberley YIA award for the highest scoring abstract in Cancer research.
We are so proud and celebrate their well-deserved recognition!

The students presented the following work:

Priscilla: “SIRT3/SOD2-mediated redox signaling in metastatic ovarian cancer”

Amal: “Orchestrated expression of the atypical Rho-GTPase, RHOV, mediates multicellular-aggregate formation in ovarian cancer.”

Zaineb: “Expression of ovarian cancer-specific Drp1 splice variants differentially regulates mitochondrial dynamics.”

Although the team was disappointed not to be attending the meeting in person, we are all looking forward to SfRBM 2022 in Orlando FL.

Lab Move

We are excited to join the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh starting July 1, 2021. Our lab is located at the Magee-Womens Research Institute on the Oakland Campus of the University of Pittsburgh. the lab is embedded among outstanding research groups studying women’s cancer and we cannot wait to collaborate with them.