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Three Students From Dr. Radhashree Maitra’s Lab Attend Prestigious Meeting for Cancer Research

Yeshiva College students, Aaron Shaykevich, Alexander Siegman, and Isaac Silverman from Dr. Radhashree Maitra’s laboratory on the Wilf Campus, attended the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in San Diego from April 5-10, 2024. AACR stands as the premier and most established professional association dedicated to cancer research, boasting a membership exceeding 50,000. Its annual meeting hosts nearly 25,000 professionals traveling from across the world.

Dr. Radhashree Maitra
Dr. Radhashree Maitra

This was the fifth successive year that Dr. Maitra’s laboratory has published abstracts at the AACR, and this year, the students had the privilege of presenting their research with four posters. The posters presented were: Targeting intermediates of the PRMT5/BRG1 axis as a combination therapy and Carbamazepine mediated SMARCA4 inhibition as a therapeutic target for KRAS-mutated CRC, presented by Shaykevich; Erlotinib suppresses autophagy in colorectal cancer, presented by Siegman; and Molecular dynamic simulations of RAS family protein interactions: Mutant KRAS binding with wildtype HRAS and NRAS, presented by Silverman.

Aaron Shaykevich presenting his research on carbamazepine in colorectal cancer

“This was a fascinating opportunity to help contribute to the global scientific community in a common goal of fighting cancer,” said Shaykevich. “We had the opportunity to hear from top researchers in the field on current therapies they are researching. When we presented our work, we spoke with and answered questions from many scientists, and received a lot of valuable feedback.” 

At YU, Dr. Maitra has two labs that focus on researching colorectal cancer with a mutation in the KRAS gene. In her wet lab, Shaykevich is researching oncolytic reovirus, a project that has been given a nearly $500,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, Siegman has been researching the effects of the chemotherapy Erlotnib on colorectal cancer. In her dry lab, Silverman works on protein modeling, focusing on the protein KRAS’ interactions and pathways. Their research is ongoing, and they have another two manuscripts currently undergoing peer review.

Isaac Silverman presenting his research on the molecular dynamics of KRAS binding

The labs have continuously had research published in peer-reviewed journals. Shaykevich and Silverman coauthored BRG1: Promoter or Suppressor of Cancer? The Outcome of BRG1's Interaction with Specific Cellular Pathways and Shaykevich, Silverman, and Siegman coauthored Impact of carbamazepine on SMARCA4 (BRG1) expression in colorectal cancer: modulation by KRAS mutation status

The students expressed their deepest gratitude to their mentor, Dr. Maitra, for the devotion and support she gives to her students. “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to do research in colorectal cancer under Dr. Maitra,” said Silverman. “She has provided us with constant guidance and support throughout the process. Her encouragement to push boundaries and explore things further has been an inspiration.”

Alexander Siegman presenting his research on the chemotherapy erlotinib in colorectal cancer

The students also appreciate the support for their research provided by Dr. Selma Botman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Karen Bacon, The Mordecai D. Katz and Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of The Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences. They also offer heartfelt thanks to the Yeshiva College faculty and staff who provided them with this opportunity.