Young researchers working at The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio have shown great promise as future scientists in the fields of oncology and immunology. Recently, according to a University press release, some of these research scholars flew to New Orleans to attend and give lectures at Immunology 2015 – the largest immunology meeting in the world.
Leading this group of young researchers was Dr. Tyler Curiel, M.D., M.P.H., an oncologist and immunologist at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, who himself is a renowned figure in the research community and media. Dr. Curiel is well known for his ongoing research work, his rescue of irreplaceable cancer cell lines in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and as a competitive cross-country runner.
The group of scientists under Dr. Curiel included Vinh Dao, a third-year graduate student in the M.D./Ph.D. program. His fellow M.D./Ph.D. student presenters in New Orleans were Curtis Clark and Justin Drerup. Also presenting from the CTRC conference was research scientist Vincent Hurez, while two more Curiel lab trainees gave poster presentations: M.D. candidate Yang Liu and postdoctoral fellow Harshita Gupta. All of them attribute their professional growth and expertise to Dr. Curiel, who comes across as a role model to many of them as well.
Dao has also been a part of the World Immune Regulation Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, held in March this year, to deliver a plenary lecture on the drug rapamycin. This drug is a noted immunosuppressive therapy, but research over the past years has shed light on its potential to curb a number of conditions. At his speech last week, Dao was quoted as saying, “We are studying rapamycin as a potential human cancer prevention agent. Although approved as an immunosuppressive drug, we found that rapamycin could boost certain aspects of immunity to prevent cancer.”
A very proud leader of his research team, Dr. Curiel was reported commenting on this feat achieved by his young group of scientists, “The team is making remarkable progress on many fronts. Thanks to their dedication and hard work, we continue to enjoy this kind of success that will help lead to insights into better treatments for cancers and autoimmunity.”