Research | Publications | Awards
Vinh A. Dao
Curiel lab - STRF- 238 Tel: (210) 562-4128Email:
2010 - Present MD/PhD student, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA)
2002-2006 - Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Molecular and Cell Biology with Immunology emphasis, UC Berkeley
Cancer is the second leading cause of US death, with an economic and social impact in the hundreds of billions of dollars each decade. Advances in treatments remain slow, and treatments are often toxic. Therefore, a widely applicable cancer prevention strategy would be a cost-effective approach to lessen the enormous economic, societal, and personal burdens of cancer. It was reported in Nature (Harrison DE et al., 2009) that an enterically-released formulation of rapamycin (eRapa) appeared to extend lifespan of genetically heterogeneous mice by preventing cancer development. Rapamycin inhibits growth of existing tumors in mouse cancer models, and is FDA approved to treat human cancers, but there has been relatively little focus on rapamycin in cancer prevention. Rapamycin inhibits mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), which regulates cellular growth and metabolism. Thus, much of the focus of rapamycin in cancer has centered on mTOR inhibition in tumor cells. However, mTOR also has significant immune modulating properties that are surprisingly little studied in cancer treatment or prevention.
Vinh’s research proposes to determine whether immune effects of eRapa are important in cancer prevention, particularly in a carcinogen (DMBA) and inflammation (TPA)-induced mouse model of skin cancer. His work presents the most detailed mechanistic studies to date of a rapamycin cancer prevention mechanism and will contribute to the rational use of rapamycin and other mTOR inhibitors as novel broad spectrum cancer prevention agents.
09/2014 - Jess Hay Chancellor’s Graduate Student Research Fellowship, University of Texas (UT) system
08/2014 - Milstein travel award, International Cytokine & Interferon Society (ICIS) conference
06/2014 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD (F30),
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
06/2014 - Microbiology & Immunology Student of the Year Award, UTHSCSA
05/2014 - Microbiology & Immunology Student Travel Award, UTHSCSA
05/2014 - American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Annual Meeting Travel Award
04/2014 - 5th Annual Frontiers of Translational Science Research Day Student Poster Winner, UTHSCSA
03/2014 - Best Oral Presentation Chosen by Faculty, 5th Annual MD/PhD Retreat, UTHSCSA
02/2014 - Trainee Abstract Award, American Association of Immunologists (AAI) annual meeting
01/2014 - Translational Science Training (TST) TL1 Grant, National Center for Advancing Translational
10/2013 - Milstein travel award, ICIS conference
08/2013 - Medical Student in Aging Research (MSTAR) grant, American Federation for Aging Research
11/2012 - Honorable Mention Award, 12th Annual Medical Student Research Day, UTHSCSA
10/2011 - Dean James J. Young Award (1st Place at 11th Annual Medical Student Research Day), UTHSCSA
Hobbies and Interests
Rock climbing parrots on motorcycles.