Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Translational Bridge Program

The Translational Bridge Program was established to foster innovative, high-impact research and to support translation of this research into clinical advancements. To achieve this goal, teams are made up of a trainee researcher paired with a basic researcher, a clinical investigator, and/or a population scientist. The teams meet monthly to discuss research progress. Monthly curriculum is offered to guide the teams in their efforts toward translation. An annual Translational Bridge Symposium brings in external speakers to foster innovation and collaboration. The program has successfully resulted in clinical trials, grants, patents, manuscripts, and more.

Translational Bridge Awardees

The translational research teams and focal points of their research projects are:


HSP90 inhibitors for bladder cancer

Blagg Vanderweele Mishra

Brian Blagg, PhD
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame

David Vanderweele, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology), Northwestern University

Sanket Mishra, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame


Aging induced immunoregulation in subjects with gliobastoma

Wainwright Lukas ladomerksy

Derek Wainwright, PhD
Neurological Surgery, Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) and Microbiology-Immunology

Rimas Lukas, MD
Neurology (Neuro-oncology)

Erik Ladomerksy, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Genetically engineered T cells for GBM immunotherapy

Irina BalyasnikovaMatt LesniakKatarzyna Pituch Markella Zannikou, PhD

Irina Balyasnikova, PhD
Neurological Surgery

Maciej (Matt) Lesniak, MD
Neurological Surgery and Neurology

Katarzyna Pituch, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Markella Zannikou, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

ATO nanobins in brain PDX

Thomas O’Halloran, PhD Jeffrey Raizer, MD Elden Swindell, PhD

Thomas O’Halloran, PhD
Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor in the Department of Chemistry and in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Feinberg School of Medicine

Jeffrey Raizer, MD
Adjunct Professor of Neurology

Elden Swindell, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Enhancing the activity of temozolomide in gliobastoma through intra-carotid artery administration

Craig Horbinski Roger Stupp Anh Nhat Tran

Craig Horbinski, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology/Neurological Surgery and Pathology

Roger Stupp, MD
Professor of Neurological Surgery, Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) and Neurology

Anh Nhat Tran, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurological Surgery


Production of B-cell vaccination for a first-in human clinical trial for newly diagnosed glioblastoma

Lee-Chang Lesniak Stupp Vasquez

Catalina Lee-Chang, PhD
Neurological Surgery

Maciej Lesniak, MD
Neurological Surgery

Roger Stupp, MD
Neurological Surgery, Neuro-Oncology, Hematology and Oncology

Gustavo Ignacio Vasquez-Cervantes, PhD


SIRT3 in endocrine resistance

David Gius Cesar Santa-Maria cristofanilli_massimo.jpg Yueming Zhu

David Gius, MD, PhD
Radiation Oncology, Pharmacology

Cesar Santa-Maria, MD

Massimo Cristofanilli, MD

Yueming Zhu, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Tissue Regeneration after mastectomy

Samuel StuppSeema KhanKohei Sato

Samuel Stupp, PhD

Seema Khan, MD
Breast Surgery

Kohei Sato, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

PIMK and PI3K inhibition in TNBC

Dai Horiuchicristofanilli_massimo.jpgRatika Kunder

Dai Horiuchi, PhD

Massimo Cristofanilli, MD

Ratika Kunder, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

New generation Selective Progesterone Receptor Modulators (SPRMs) efficacy in benign breast and breast cancer

Julie KimSeem KhanDavaadelger

Julie Kim, PhD
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Seema Khan MD,
Breast Surgery

Batzaya Davaadelger, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Breast cancer microenvironment in aging and obesity

Zorlutuna Cristofanillishah Bahcecioglu

Pinar Zorlutuna, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

Massimo Cristofanilli, MD
Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology), Northwestern University

Ami Shah, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology), Northwestern University

Gokhan Bahcecioglu, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame

Establishing preclinical efficacy of licochalcone A for primary prevention of invasive breast cancer

Khan Bonini Hajirahimkhan

Seema Khan, MD
Breast Surgery, Cancer Prevention

Marcelo Bonini, PhD
Hematology and Oncology

Atieh Hajirahimkhan, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

The Role of CXCR2 in Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone

Littlepage kulkarni_swati sheeley

Laurie Littlepage, PhD
Biochemistry, Notre Dame

Swati Kulkarni, MD
Breast Surgery

Madeline Sheeley, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

 Cancer Prevention

Managing Stressful Burden to Attain Both Healthful Lifestyle and Medical Regimen Adherence by Cancer Survivors

Bonnie SpringJune RobinsonStump

Bonnie Spring, PhD
Preventative Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

June Robinson, MD

Tammy Stump, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

 Cell and Developmental Biology/ Autophagy

The metabolic mechanism of the autophagy protein Becn1 in tumor suppression

Congcong He, PhD Ankit Bharat, MBBS Kenta Kuramoto, Ph

Congcong He, PhD
Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Ankit Bharat, MBBS
Associate Professor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery) and Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care)

Kenta Kuramoto, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

 Cervical Cancer

Racial disparities in cervical cancer

laimins maniarweigusho

Laimonis A Laimins, PhD
Professor, Microbiology-Immunlogy

Kruti Maniar, MD
Associate Professor, Pathology

JJ Wei, MD
Professor, Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology

Elona Gusho, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow


Role of the modulation of immune checkpoints in the treatment of esphageal cancer

Tetreault Villaflor Dava Mahalingam wiles_kelsey.jpg

Marie-Pier Tetreault, PhD
Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Victoria Villaflor, MD

Devalingam Mahalingam, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Kelsey Wiles
Graduate Student, Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease Training Program

New strategies to overcome immunotherapy resistance in advanced esophageal cancer

Zhang Sosman RohChen

Bin Zhang, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) and Microbiology-Immunology

Jeffrey Sosman, MD
Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Meejeon Roh, PhD
Research Assistant Professor Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Siqi Chen, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

 Head & Neck Cancer

Crosstalk between BET and eIF4E in Thyroid cancer

Hidayatullah MunshiMaria MatsangouThao Pham

Hidayatullah Munshi, MD

Maria Matsangou, MBChB

Thao Pham, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Targeting NSD1 histone methyltransferase in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma


Gary Schiltz, PhD
Professor of the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery and Pharmacology

Yanis Boumber, MD, PhD

Iuliia Topchu
Graduate Student, Driskill Graudate Program

Development of a spheric nucleic acid (SNA) based nanoparticle vaccine for the treatment of HPV associated malignancy


Chad Mirkin, PhD
Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Jochen Lorch, MD
Professor, Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Jeongmin Hwang, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow


Treating Liver Cancer with Cancer Killing siRNA-Lipopolyplexes

Peter KimKo

Marcus Peter, PhD
Professor of Cancer Metabolism, Medicine (Hematology and Oncology), and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Dong-Hyun Kim, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiology (Basic and Translational Radiology Research)

Min Jun Ko, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow


MLL4 mutations in lymphoma

Ali ShilatifardJane WinterDeqing HuZibio Zhao, PHD

Ali Shilatifard, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Jane Winter, MD

Deqing Hu, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Zibo Zhao, PHD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Targetable signaling pathways in cutaneous T cell lymphoma

Jaehyuk ChoiBarbara ProJoonhee Park

Jaehyuk Choi, MD, PhD
Dermatology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Barbara Pro, MD

Joonhee Park, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Enhancing apoptosis and immunotherapy efficacy with CpG coated hollow gold nanoshells for aggressive B cell lymphoma

Kim Gordon sim_taehoon.jpg adam lin

Dong-Hyun Kim, PhD

Leo Gordon, MD

Taehoon Sim, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Adam Yun Lin
Postdoctoral Fellow

Exploring circadian disruption as a putative mechanism of accelerated aging in lymphoma

Fox Kalam Knutson Heitor Welch Karmali Fox

Rina Fox, MD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor of Medical Social Sciences (Project PI)

Faiza Kalam, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow (Project Director)

Kristen L. Knutson, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology, Preventive Medicine, and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Fernanda Heitor, MD
Instructor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics)

Whitney Welch, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine

Reem Karmali, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Elizabeth Hibler, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention)


Total synthesis and development of cruentaren A analogs for anti-cancer treatment

Brian BlaggYanis BoumberZiaozheng Dou, PhD

Brian Blagg, PhD
Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame

Yanis Boumber, MD, PhD

Ziaozheng Dou, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame

Inducing DISE in lung cancer

Peter Mohindra Murmann

Marcus Peter, PhD
Cancer Metabolism, Medicine (Hematology and Oncology), and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Nisha Mohindra, MD
Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Andrea Murmann, PhD
Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)


Desmoglein 1 in malignant melanoma

Kathleen GreenSunandana ChandraChristopher Arnette

Kathleen Green, PhD
Pathology and Dermatology

Sunandana Chandra, MD/MS

Christopher Arnette, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Induced Colitis

Jennifer Wu Jeffrey Sosman Si Qin

Jennifer Wu, PhD
Urology, Microbiology-Immunology

Jeffrey Sosman, MD

Si Qin, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

 Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Dysregulation of innate immune signaling in MDS

Peng JiOlga FrankfurtAnaadriana Zakarijia, MDMei Yang

Peng Ji, MD, PhD

Olga Frankfurt, MD

Anaadriana Zakarijia, MD

Yang Mei, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Targeting the innate immune signaling to treat myelodysplastic syndromes

Peng Ji Abaza ren

Peng Ji, MD, PhD

Yasmin Abaza, MD
Assistant Professor, Medicine (Hematology and Oncology)

Kehan Ren, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

 Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN)

Novel cytokine targets for P. Vera

Leonidas PlataniasBrady SteinDiana Saleiro

Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD
Hematology/Oncology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Brady Stein, MD

Diana Saleiro, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow


Mechanism and Mitigation of Reproductive Loss

Teresa WoodruffJessica K AltmanHideyuki Iwahata

Teresa Woodruff, PhD
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Kehinde Adekola, MBBS

Hideyuki Iwahata, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow


Epi-transcriptomics in ovarian cancer stem cells

Daniela Matei, MD Emma Barber, MD Hao Huang, PhD

Daniela Matei, MD
Hematology/Oncology, Gynecologic Oncology

Emma Barber, MD
Gynecologic Oncology

Hao Huang, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Nanocytology for ovarian cancer screening

Vadim BackmanShohreh ShahabiGreta BauerLusik Cherkezyan, PhD

Vadim Backman, PhD
Biomedical Engineering

Shohreh Shahabi, MD
Gynecologic Oncology

Greta Bauer
Predoctoral Fellow

Lusik Cherkezyan, PhD
Research Associate in Biomedical Engineering

New strategies to combine epigenetic modulation and immune checkpoint blockade in ovarian cancer: from preclinical models to the clinic

Zhang Matei xie

Bin Zhang, MD, PhD
Hematology/Oncolgy, Microbiology-Immunology

Daniela Matei, MD
Hematology/Oncology, GynecologicOncology

Ping Xie, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Transcriptomic signatures of platinum resistant ovarian cancer

Matei Chae Keathley

Daniela Matei, MD
Hematology/Oncology, GynecologicOncology

Young Kwang Chae, MD, MPH, MBA
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology)

Russell Keathley
Graduate Student, Driskill Graduate Program


Enhancing efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade in pancreatic cancer

Hidayatullah G Munshi, MD Al B Benson, MD Mahmoud Khalafalla, PhD

Hidayatullah G Munshi, MD

Al B Benson, MD

Mahmoud Khalafalla, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Trastuzumab antibody analogues

Milan MrksichAparna KalyanJustin Modica

Milan Mrksich, PhD
Cell & Molecular Biology

Aparna Kalyan, MBBS

Justin Modica, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Overcoming Resistance to Oncolytic Virotherapy and PD-1 Blockade in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Zhang Mahalingam Ikeda

Bin Zhang, PhD
Hematology and Oncology, Microbiology-Immunology

Devalingam Mahalingham, MBBChBAO
Hematology and Oncology

Masato Ikeda, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

 Population Sciences / Genitourinary

Understanding prostate cancer in men with inflammatory bowel disease

Shilajit D. Kundu, MD

Jennifer Wu, PhD

William J. Catalona, MD

Sarki Abdulkadir, MD, PhD

Zhe Ji, PhD

Vinay Sagar, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow


Functional Chemical-genomic Analysis of the MYC Pathway for Cancer Therapy

Abdulkadir Hussain Yang

Sarki Abdulkadir
Urology and Pathology

Maha Hussain
Hematology & Oncology

William Yang
Graduate Student