Kevin Pridham earns competitive travel award

Kevin Pridham, Ph.D.

Kevin Pridham, Ph.D.

Kevin Pridham, a second-year doctoral student in Virginia Tech’s Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health program, was named the winner of a Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association of Cancer Research. The award will be used to support Pridham’s participation in the American Association of Cancer Research Special Conference on Noncoding RNAs and Cancer.

“The American Association of Cancer Research is one of the oldest and largest cancer societies,” Pridham said, “and to get a travel award to go to this conference is amazing.” Pridham will present a poster on his research at the conference.

For the award, Pridham submitted an abstract on his work studying a particular strand of genetic material that regulates autophagy in cancer. Cancer cells, in particular, activate this self-eating during targeted destruction, such as chemotherapy. Pridham hopes the research will eventually help reveal how the regulation occurs, which may in turn lead to understanding how to target and harness the autophagy as a treatment.

Pridham conducts research in the laboratory of Zhi Sheng, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute who studies how cancer cells develop and communicate, as well as potential targets for treating cancer.

“There are so many doctoral candidates in the cancer research field, making this award very competitive,” Sheng said. “Kevin works very hard on his thesis work, in conjunction with a heavy class load. I am so proud of his achievement in such a short period of time.”