Cancer Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) is the team of outstanding undergraduate students currently doing cancer research at USC Michelson Center CSI-Cancer

Application for 2019 is now open! (login with your USC Email)

USC undergraduates interested in the research in our lab are also encouraged to enroll in BISC 410: Applications of Molecular Biology to Medicine taught by professors Kuhn and Hicks.

Fall 2019 Fellowship awardees

Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Kate Cunningham Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Ryan Storgard Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Ayeshna DesaiProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Isabelle VuDornsife SOAR
Arushi AgrawalDornsife SOAR
Vera HsuDornsife SOAR

The CURE Squad

Kate Rappard

Joined: Fall 2016

Research Focus: Detecting and characterizing rare single-cell events in multiple myeloma patients using HD-SCA in paired peripheral blood and bone marrow aspirate samples

Research Fellowships: SOAR, Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Wattis Dumke Fellowship

Organizations: USC Rec Sports (Fitness Instructor), Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Latino Alumni Association, USC Medlife

Scholarships: Latino Alumni Association scholarship, Gamma Phi Beta scholarship, Dornsife Continuing Student Scholarship

Conferences, Posters, Presentations, Publications: AACR undergraduate poster symposium (poster, 2019), Influence of primary tumor removal on incidence and phenotype of circulating tumor cells in stage IV colorectal cancer (abstract, 2017)

Other: Dean’s List

Fun fact: I’ve never eaten an orange!

Daniel Flores

Joined: Spring 2018

Research Fellowships: SURF

Organizations: Troy Camp and Latino Students in Medicine

Other: Dean’s List

Fun fact: When I was 7, I had two wounds that were superglued!

Carlisle Maney

Joined: February 2019

Organizations: Kicks for Kids, Keck Student Ambassadors, Jumpstart, Pi Beta Phi sorority

Scholarships: Eleanor and Lloyd King Scholarship

Other: Dean’s List

Fun fact: I have as many dogs as I do sisters.

Sachin Narayan

Joined: December 2018

Research focus: Applying Baseline assay to colorectal cancer samples and developing a PSCA CAR-T identification assay.

Organizations: Los Angeles Community Impact, Project RISHI, Doctors Without Borders, Share-a-Meal

Scholarships: USC Trustee Scholarship

Conferences, Presentations, Posters, Publications: National High School Journal of Science: Deep Sea Oil Trap Presentations: Synopsys Scienxe, Intel ISEF

Other: ASM International Research Commendation, Bellarmine College Prep Science Department Award

Fun fact: I am a Hip-hop and Bollywood Dancer

Mihir Kumar

Joined: February 2019

Research focus: Developing HD-SCA platform for CAR-T therapy targeting HER2+ breast cancer with metastasis to the brain, Developing HD-SCA platform to distinguish between NSCLC and SCLC, and understanding the potential transition from NSCLC to SCLC.

Organizations: Project RISHI (Rural India Social and Health Improvement), KDSAP (Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program), Imagining America (Teaching 2nd graders at Vermont about community awareness/personal well-being through arts and crafts), EMSC (Emergency Medical Services of USC), COPE Health Scholars

Scholarships: Trustee Scholarship

Other: I really like investing and have turned $55 into $1300 before!, I started my own hedge fund

Fun fact: Co-Founded a mobile application and web dev startup

Michael Morikado

Joined: Fall 2015

Research Focus: Analyzing single-cell prostate cancer genomics using liquid biopsy and predictive modeling of genomic instability

Research Fellowships: Viterbi Undergraduate Merit Research Fellowship

Organizations: Viterbi Freshman Academy

Scholarships: Presidential Scholarship

Conferences, Posters, Presentations, Publications:
Clonal diversity revealed by morphoproteomic and copy number profiles of single prostate cancer cells at diagnosis (Convergent Science Physical Oncology, 2018), 2018 AACR student poster presentation

Laura Roed

Joined: December 2018

Research Focus: Redesigning the lab’s data analysis tools to optimize scientists’ ability to make scientific discoveries

Organizations: Club Softball, 4th Quarter All-Stars Sketch Comedy Group, IYA Team Projects, Refugee Crisis Startup

Scholarships: Dean’s Scholarship

Conferences, Posters, Presentations, Publications: Undergraduate Symposium poster presentation

Fun fact: I was named the best short shop on west coast by the National Club Softball Association

Olivia Hart

Joined: February 2019

Research Focus: Duke Optical Study: Morphological Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells in Early and Late Stage Breast Cancer Patients; Kite CAR-T CD19 Assay Development

Research Fellowships: Bridge Undergraduate Science Program (BUGS)

Organizations: Trojan Health Volunteers, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority

Fun fact: I went skydiving in Switzerland once!

Isabelle Vu

Joined: Spring 2019

Research focus: Analyzing Blood Samples from Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Using the HD-SCA Workflow

Research fellowships: Dornsife SOAR

Organizations: USC Helenes, Science Outreach, Remedy Through Music, Vietnamese Student Association

Scholarships: USC Trustee Scholarship

Other: I ran a 10k in August, and I have 8 piano competition trophies!

Fun fact: I can play 4 musical instruments!

Eric Yang

Joined: April 2019

Research focus: Developing a Recommendation System for Therapy Response Prediction in Multiple Myeloma

Research fellowships: Bridge Undergraduate Science Program (BUGS)

Organizations: Community Health Connection (Development Chair), WorldMed @ UPC, Remedy Through Music, Phi Delta Theta

Scholarships: USC Presidential Scholarship, Mastercard Scholarship, National Merit Scholarship

Conferences, Presentations, Posters, Publications: BUGS Summer Research Symposium

Fun fact: My favorite food is french fries

Kate Cunningham

Joined: January 2018

Research Focus: Comparing patient samples analyzed with HD-SCA and HD-SCA Baseline across cancer types

Research Fellowships: Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Organizations: Health Sciences Education Program, Trojan Dance Marathon, Trojan Advocates for Political Progress, Alpha Chi Omega sorority

Scholarships: Okin Scholarship in Biological Sciences, USC Presidential Scholarship, National Merit Scholar, University Scholarship, Hannah Dashiell Memorial Scholarship

Other: Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (Spring 2019), Dean’s List (Spring 2017 to present)

Fun fact: I was the drum major of the marching band in high school!

Ayeshna Desai

Joined: January 2019

Organizations: Global Medical Training, Environmental Core, and Science Outreach

Other: Deans List, Student delegate for the climate forward conference

Fun fact: When I was 10, I was charged by a bison!

Arushi Agrawal

Joined: January 2019

Research focus: Single Cell Analysis of Treatment Responses and Tumor Evolution in Hormone Receptor-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer patients

Research focus: Dornsife SOAR

Organizations: Community Health Connection, Interaxon, Residential Community Council, Project RISHI, Flying Samaritans

Scholarships: Presidential Scholarship, National Merit, Goldman Family Scholarship

Other: Disney Be Inspired Grant recipient for my volunteer initiative for refugee aid

Fun fact: I played flute in high school

Amanda Hmelar:

Joined: Spring 2019

Research focus: IMC analysis of CTCs from the Cabazi/Carbo trial to better understand how to stratify patients based on CTC protein expression

Organizations: Troy Camp, Violence Intervention Program, Delta Phi Epsilon

Scholarships: USC Presidential Merit Scholarship

Fun Fact: I love sailing!

Summer 2019 Fellowship Awardees

Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Kate Cunningham Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Daniel Flores Rose Hills Summer Research Fellowship
Ayeshna DesaiProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Olivia HartBridge Undergraduate Science Program
Eric YangBridge Undergraduate Science Program

Spring 2019 Fellowship Awardees

Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Kate CunninghamProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Matthew Lin Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Ryan StorgardProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Sujin Jeong Dornsife SOAR
Dillon McKinleyFulbright Scholar
Kate RappardWattis Dumke Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Kate CunninghamOkin Scholarship in Biological Sciences
Angela ChenWattis Dumke Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Spring 2019 symposium

Symposia are an excellent opportunity to sharpen scientific communication skills. CURE students organize one every semester to showcase the progress of their respective research projects and gain feedback from the senior members of the institute