Elliott Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01 Receives Mary Louise Andrews Award for Cancer Research

Elliott Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01 was recently named a recipient of the Virginia Academy of Science’s Mary Louise Andrews Award for Cancer Research. This award, in the form of a $3,000 research grant, will support a project entitled “The Role of Tumor-associated Chemokine Receptors in Lymph Node Invasion by Melanoma.” An expert in tumor immunology, Dr. Hargadon has focused his recent efforts on melanoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer that frequently metastasizes throughout the body. This project will address factors that promote melanoma spread to regional lymph nodes, a poor prognostic factor in cancer patients. Insights into lymph node invasion by melanoma may yield novel targets for therapies that aim to delay melanoma progression. Such approaches might also lead to improved responses to immunotherapy regimens, particularly those that target immune cells within lymph nodes and which might otherwise be compromised by tumor cells that have already spread to these organs prior to treatment. Preliminary work to support this award application began in 2018, when Dr. Hargadon mentored Goldwater Award recipient David Bushhouse ’19, who presented the lab’s findings at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Atlanta, Georgia. David is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences Graduate Program at Northwestern University.