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Emily Finch Selected for Career Development Award from Penn State’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Posted: May 30, 2013

An Immunology and Infectious Disease doctoral candidate, Emily Finch, has been selected to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) TL1 career development award. She will use this award to determine the feasibility of Omega-3 supplementation as a treatment for leukemia.
Emily Finch hopes to further human health research by studying the effects of certain nutrient metabolites on anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic functions.

Emily Finch hopes to further human health research by studying the effects of certain nutrient metabolites on anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic functions.

Penn State’s CTSI promotes an interdisciplinary approach to prevent and treat human diseases. One of the methods to accomplish this is through translational research, which involves transferring scientific research applications to practical applications that can positively impact human health. Their TL1 Program provides support and training for predoctoral students who have the potential to develop careers in multidisciplinary clinical and translational research.

Emily Finch is a doctoral candidate in the department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (VBS), Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IID), who has focused her research on the effect of specific nutrients on inflammation and cancer. As a recipient of the TL1 Career Development Award, also known as the Predoctoral Scholar Program, Emily will receive a stipend for the 2013-2014 school year in addition to training in clinical and translational research, eligibility in earning a Graduate Certificate in Clinical and Translational Research from the Department of Public Health Science, and ten years of career progress tracking afterwards. She was chosen for this award because of her promise as a future researcher based on her achievements to date.

As an undergraduate, Emily worked in the immunology-based laboratory of Dr. Connie Rogers, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, to study the role of energy balance in immune function. During her graduate training, she has been working in the laboratory of Dr. K. Sandeep Prabhu, Associate Professor in VBS, researching the role of selenium and Omega-3 fatty acids in decreasing inflammation and cancer.

For her work as a TL1 Predoctoral Scholar, Emily will be involved in a small clinical trial in healthy individuals who will take an (Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved fish oil supplement (Lovaza®) for eight weeks. The level of the prostaglandin of interest in their serum will be measured to help determine how much of the compound can be made endogenously (in the body) and the data will be used to help conclude the feasibility of fish oil supplementation as a treatment for leukemia. Emily also will be using human leukemia patient samples to understand how this prostaglandin targets and kills leukemic stem cells (LSCs).

Emily will be required to participate in CTSI events, acknowledge their assistance in her related publications, submit progress reports, maintain an excellent level of work and scholarship, and expand her work to encompass improved human health as part of her work as a TL1 Predoctoral Scholar.