Carnegie Mellon, BS in Biology, specialization in Genetics, 1998
University of Pittsburgh, MS in Molecular Genetics and
University of Pittsburgh, Lab manager for Dr. Sarah Gaffen, Dept
of Medicine (and ex-PGSS TA)
Zang Y, Velosa-Ramirez C, Thomas SM, Childs EE, Johnson DE, Grandis JR , Lai SY. Regulation of HIF-1 by the STAT3 Decoy in
Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Manuscript in preparation.
Childs EE, Wilkinson EC, Freilino ML, Seethala RR, Grandis JR and Lai SY. HIF-1 promotes HNSCC invasion and metastasis through
regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Manuscript in preparation.
Lai SY, Koppikar P, Thomas SM, Childs EE, Egloff AM, Seethala RR, Branstetter BF, Gooding WE, Muthukrishnan A, Mountz JM, Lui
VW, Shin DM, Agarwala SS, Johnson R, Couture LA, Myers EN, Johnson JT, Mills G, Argiris A, Grandis JR. Intratumoral Epidermal
Growth Factor Receptor Antisense DNA Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer: First Human Application and Potential Antitumor
Mechanisms. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Feb 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Lui VW, Boehm AL, Koppikar P, Leeman RJ, Johnson D, Ogagan M, Childs E, Freilino M, Grandis JR. Antiproliferative mechanisms of
a transcription factor decoy targeting signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3: the role of STAT1. Mol Pharmacol 2007
Lai SY, Childs EE, Xi S, Coppelli FM, Gooding WE, Wells A, Ferris RL, and Grandis JR. Erythropoetin-Mediated Activation of JAK-
STAT Signaling Contributes to Cellular Invasion in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Oncogene 2005; Jun 23, 24(27):4442-9.
PGSS had a drastic effect on my life at the time that I attended. I’m from a small-ish town that provided very little support for budding scientists… especially not young women. I could take all of the book-learning classes at the high school, but I only ever had two in which I learned about molecular biology… and there were zeroopportunities for any hands-on learning. And, to be blunt, my high school classes weren’t really all that challenging. Being at Governor’s School gave me the chance to learn so much more about the subject I thought I would enjoy and to determine if the interest I had gained from one chapter in 9th grade biology was actually something I might want to dedicate my life to. And it pushed me to really work in classes and to learn how to truly work with my peers on a project, instead of lead them through it. But, really, for me… PGSS was much more impactful on a social level. I had attended the John’s Hopkins CTY program as a 7th and 8th grader, but had not been back due to money constraints. Having an opportunity to spend 5 weeks with other bright teens… an opportunity to not be the ‘walking encyclopedia’ in the room… it was both enjoyable and humbling. I was, by far, not the brightest one there. And, honestly, that did a wonderful job of preparing me for college at a competitive and high-level school (CMU). I’ve known many freshmen at CMU who came in thinking they were the smartest person there, because they’ve never been anything but that. It’s a hard thing to learn that you’re not. Being able to do that at PGSS, in a nurturing environment where you have dozens of other teens who _want_ to help you succeed, was much less destructive. In the long run, I’m not sure how much impact PGSS had on my career. It helped me decide that my choice of molecular biology was likely to be the right choice for me. But I’m not one of the alumni who have gone on to do amazing things. However, I am very proud to know that I once spent a summer working with those who have (or will).