UACC researcher Samantha Kendrick, PhD, awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship from Lymphoma Research Foundation

Samantha Kendrick, PhD
Samantha Kendrick, PhD

University of Arizona Cancer Center researcher Samantha Kendrick, PhD, was awarded a 2013 Lymphoma Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship award to support her research of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

The $105,000 grant will be used to support Dr. Kendrick's ongoing research to determine the occurrence and clinical implications of various mechanisms for BCL2 and MYC oncogene over-expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most commonly diagnosed version of lymphoma, in order to identify patients that would benefit from targeted therapy.

"Currently, only half of the patients diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma will have successful treatments," Dr. Kendrick said. "We’re looking to change that."

Her research will also involve novel small molecule inhibitors that modulate gene expression of BCL2 and MYC to observe the effects on increasing chemosensitization of chemotherapy resistant tumors.

"The project is two-fold," Dr. Kendrick said. "We’re in the unique position to study high-risk patients, as well as to test new drugs that could target those key genes. This project takes us through the whole spectrum of identifying risk and trying to find a therapy for those patients."

The LRF awarded one million dollars in grants to eight scientists investigating new treatments for lymphoma. Dr. Kendrick’s award will begin March 2013 and will run through February 2015, with the first batch of funding due in May.

Dr. Kendrick has been a member of Dr. Lisa Rimsza’s lymphoma research team in the Department of Pathology at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine since January 2011. Her research interests include the study of mechanisms for chemotherapy resistance and relapse in aggressive lymphomas.

Dr. Kendrick began her studies at the University of Arizona in August 2005. In 2010, Dr. Kendrick was named the Student Technology Innovation Award winner. She was the first female recipient among either faculty or student top honorees in the program’s history. The Technology Innovation Award is given annually in recognition of exemplary innovative achievements in translating original ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Dr. Kendrick’s cancer research led to a major discovery in the BIO5 lab of Laurence Hurley, PhD, of a new class of drug receptors and a lead compound. Dr. Kendrick’s dissertation project, chemo-sensitization by modulation of BCL2 expression, provides a new molecular target for treatment of cancers such as lymphomas that have become resistant to chemotherapy.

Dr. Kendrick is a graduate of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program and is also supported by the Cancer Biology Training Grant, T32CA009213.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives and patient services. To date, LRF has awarded more than $51 million in lymphoma-specific research.

-Feb. 26. 2013