Kathia Rodarte, Ph.D. candidate in Genetics, Development and Disease at UT Southwestern and BUILDing SCHOLARS alumna, was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) diversity pre-doctoral fellowship. The award was granted by the National Cancer Institute to support her graduate research in cancer. For her project, titled “Determining the role of ASCL1 in neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC)”, she will be using NEPC cell lines, patient-derived xenografts, and mouse prostate organoids to determine if ASCL1, a protein coding gene, is required for prostate adenocarcinoma to transition to NEPC. She will be working with her mentor, Dr. Jane Johnson, to identify gene programs regulated by ASCL1 to reveal vulnerabilities and mechanisms underlying neuroendocrine cancers.
Ms. Rodarte graduated from UTEP in Spring 2018 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. Her undergraduate research was mentored by Dr. Marc Cox, and she also participated in summer research programs at the University of Baylor College of Medicine and at the National Institutes of Health.