Student researcher selected to attend AACR annual meeting

Daniel Sotelo
Daniel Sotelo

A University of Arizona student researcher is among just 27 students from North America selected to receive the AACR-Thomas J. Bardos Science Education Award for Undergraduate Students.

Daniel Sotelo, a nutritional sciences and philosophy double major, will join undergraduate students from 20 other colleges and universities at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Orlando April 2 to 6. He expects to be able to present his research findings at the 2012 AACR annual meeting.

Sotelo has worked in the drug-discovery laboratory of Arizona Cancer Center researcher Emmanuelle J. Meuillet, PhD, where he has been assisting Dr. Meuillet in identifying and targeting proteins that could respond to anti-cancer drugs and slow the progression of disease. Dr. Meuillet is an associate professor of nutritional sciences and molecular and cellular biology.

Sotelo, 22, a Tucson native, plans to apply to the UA’s College of Medicine following his 2012 graduation from the UA. He says his major in nutritional sciences will allow him to be a bridge between bench science and the bedside as a physician. “I want to have my hands in both the clinical and research settings.”

Sotelo has been doing research at the UA for four years. During his freshman and sophomore years, he worked at the BIO5 Institute under the direction of Walter Klimecki, DMV, PhD, studying arsenic toxicity as an honors research scholar. His junior year found him doing clinical rotations at University Physicians Hospital and social science research in the College of Medicine.

Sotelo says he will apply all of his undergraduate experiences “toward the advancement of new and innovative treatments for all individuals afflicted with cancer. Cancer in its many forms is a destructive disease that many people across the world suffer from. Perhaps one day I may be able to join this battle and help turn this tragedy into new hope for the millions of patients suffering from it.”

During the AACR’s 102nd annual meeting, expected to draw cancer researchers from around the world, Arizona Cancer Center members Elena Martínez, PhD, will chair, and Elizabeth Jacobs, PhD, will participate in a discussion of vitamin and mineral supplements for cancer prevention, and Erik R. Olson, PhD, will discuss uses of natural products as chemopreventive agents: rationale, potential benefits and pitfalls.

Dr. Martínez also serves as the chair of the AACR’s Minorities in Cancer Research Council.

AZCC post-doctoral fellows and pre-doctoral and undergraduate students who will present posters at the AACR annual meeting include Fushi Wen, Pavani Chalasani, Prashansa Agrawal, Raveendra I. Mathad, Shannon Fortin, Katherine Dempsey, Robert V. Brown, Ana Tula-Sanchez, Jixun Dai and Qiang Li.