SAASCR Award

The Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer Research doled out awards at a March 31 event in Atlanta, Georgia, with 10 Indian scientists awarded for their discoveries. Pictured here (from left) are Dr. Jianfu Wang, Dr. Vineet Gupta, Dr. Ajay P Singh, Dr. Deepak Kumar, Dr. Shailesh Singh, Dr. Dipali Sharma, SAASCR secretary Dr. Dharam P Chauhan, Dr. Pushpa Tandon, SAASCR president Dr. Rajvir Dahiya, Dr. Chendil Damodaran, Dr. Bipin Gupta and Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy. (photo provided)

The Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer Research March 31 handed out awards to numerous scientists and 10 Indian individuals were honored for their contributions in cancer research.

Among the honorees at the Atlanta, Georgia, event included Dr. Vineet Gupta, Dr. Ajay P. Singh, Dr. Deepak Kumar, Dr. Shailesh Singh, Dr. Dipali Sharma, Dr. Pushpa Tandon, Dr. Chendil Damodaran, Dr. Bipin Gupta and Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy. Also honored at the event was Dr. Jianfu Wang.

Dr. Rajvir Dahiya, the president of SAASCR as well as a professor and director of the Urology Research Center at U.C. San Francisco’s School of Medicine, presented the awards to the scientists during the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

Gupta is the Charles Arthur Weaver Chair of Cancer Research and professor and vice chair for research and innovation in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

He is also the director of the Drug Discovery Center and director of Section of Research in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cellular Therapies in that department. Gupta attended Hansraj College of Delhi University for his undergraduate education, received his master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and his doctorate in chemistry from University of Rochester.

Ajay Singh is a tenured professor and director of research in the Department of Pathology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. He also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is a senior member of Mitchell

Kumar is a tenured professor of pharmaceutical sciences and the director of the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute at North Carolina Central University.

Kumar is a cancer biologist with experience at the intersection of cancer health disparities and precision medicine and studies genetic and epigenetic correlates of social determinants. Kumar received his doctorate degree from the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow and completed postdoctoral training in cancer biology from Georgetown University.

Shailesh Singh is professor of immunology and co-leader of cancer research and education at Cancer Health Equity Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine.

Singh received his doctorate degree in cancer biology and oncology from the Department of Surgery and Center for Experimental Medicine and Surgery, Institute of Medical Sciences Banaras Hindu University.

Sharma is professor of oncology in the Breast Cancer Program at the Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

She obtained her doctorate in molecular biology and oncology from the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India. She then completed fellowships at both the University of Maryland and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Her research work focuses on various aspects of breast carcinogenesis, particularly the molecular and hormonal mechanisms underlying breast tumor growth, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, invasion, migration and breast cancer prevention, her bio said.

Tandon received her master’s in biochemistry and her doctorate in neurochemistry from the University of Lucknow in India. She came to the U.S. as a Fogarty Fellow to work at NIEHS, NC. Her work on neurotoxicity of Fenthion, an organophosphate, resulted in FDA issuing specific guideline for its use.

Tandon is currently a program director, within the Cancer Imaging Program, and the administrative deputy director of the Quantitative Imaging Network, an international network for development of quantitative imaging tools for prediction of tumor response to treatment, at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.

Damodaran, a doctoral graduate in environmental toxicology from the University of Madras, moved to the University of Kentucky to pursue his postdoctoral training, subsequently became a faculty in the departments of Clinical Sciences in the College of Health Sciences.

A professor and director of urology in the Department of Urology at the University of Louisville, over the years Damodaran has established nationally and internationally recognized research programs primarily in prostate carcinoma, with a focus on cancer chemoprevention by natural compounds.

Gupta did his doctorate from Punjab Agricultural University in parasitology. Immediately after finishing that degree, he started working as assistant professor in the Department of Zoology at PAU.

Gupta was awarded NIH fellowship to come to Stanford Medical School to do post-doctoral work. He changed his field to cancer biology. During this period in the industry he developed several breakthrough products related to immunohistochemistry, the bio said.

Ganapathy received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Madras in 1978. He then came to the Medical College of Georgia in 1979 as a post-doctoral fellow and stayed there for 35 years.

During this time, he became a tenured professor and also served as the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for 14 years. He received the Regents’ Professor status, the highest academic rank that is offered by the university. He then took the chair position for the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2014.

SAASCR is a non-profit, non-political organization registered in the state of California in 2004 and has more than 5,000 members. All of the society’s members are also members of American Association for Cancer Research.

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