The Cancer Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) program is the undergraduate program of USC Michelson CSI-Cancer. Each student is assigned a mentor which helps them work on a specific project. CURES can be seen in the wet and dry lab, developing assays and creating Markov chain models. Being a CURE student cannot be defined, it is up to the student to define their goals and project!

We are no longer accepting applications for the Spring 2020 semester. Please check back in August 2020. We encourage you to keep in contact and join us at our upcoming events. Follow us on Instagram @uscmichelsoncsicancer or look out for updates on this page.

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.

The CURE Team

Sachin Narayan

Team: Colorectal Cancer/CAR-T

See More

Major: Global Health

Minor: Business Finance

Joined: Fall 2018

Research Focus: Applying the HD-SCA3.0 assay to colorectal cancer samples to identify potential prognostic markers from various rare cell populations. Also, developing a CAR-T identification assay for prostate cancer (PSCA/PSMA).

Scholarships and Fellowships: Trustee Scholarship

Involvements on Campus: LACI, Project RISHI, Trojan Knights, Doctors without Borders

Talk to me about: Hip hop and Bollywood dance

Eric Yang

Team: Multiple Myeloma

See More

Major: Quantitative Biology

Minor: N/A

Joined: Spring 2019

Research Focus: Developing Recommendation Algorithms for Therapy Response Prediction in Multiple Myeloma

Scholarships and Fellowships: Presidential Scholarship, BUGS, USC SURF, USC PURF, Trudi Berwin Student Support Award, Mastercard Global Scholarship

Involvements on Campus: Community Health Connection, WorldMed, Remedy Through Music, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Talk to me about: Duke basketball

Jaden Mullin

Team: Lung Cancer

See More

Major: Human Biology

Minor: N/A

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Improved classification of early stage non-small cell lung cancers through addition of HD-SCA work flow

Scholarships and Fellowships: University Scholarship

Involvements on Campus: Troy Philippines, Trojan Steel

Talk to me about: Cool jewelry

Jena Tran

Team: IMC

See More

Major: Quantitative Biology

Minor: N/A

Joined: Spring 2019

Research Focus: Immune Profiling: utilizing imaging mass cytometry (IMC) to characterize immune cells with up to 30 markers

Scholarships and Fellowships: N/A

Involvements on Campus: Community Health Involvement Project, USC Student Government, USC Food Recovery Network

Talk to me about: The best sad songs

Nathan Kristanto

Team: Mathematical Oncology

See More

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Minor: N/A

Joined: Spring 2020

Research Focus: Quantifying patient performance status via IoT technology to complement the clinical assessment for enhanced patient care

Scholarships and Fellowships: N/A

Involvements on Campus: Colleges Against Cancer

Talk to me about: Video Games

Aidan Plant

Team: Prostate Cancer

See More

Major: Neuroscience

Minor: Jazz Studies

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Case Study of AVPC in collaboration with Veterans Affairs

Scholarships and Fellowships: N/A

Involvements on Campus: USC Climbing Club, SCHO, Jazz Ensemble

Talk to me about: Jazz and food

Kate Cunningham

Team: Osteosarcoma

See More

Major: Quantitative Biology

Minor:

Joined: Spring 2018

Olivia Hart

Team: CAR-T

See More

Major: Health and Human Sciences

Minor: Spanish & Healthcare Studies

Joined: Spring 2019

Research Focus: Morphological analysis and comparison of circulating tumor cells in early and late stage breast cancer patients; Developing an HD-SCA rare cell identification assay to detect and analyze CAR-T cells through a liquid biopsy

Scholarships and Fellowships: USC Dornsife SOAR, BUGS

Involvements on Campus: Trojan Health Volunteers, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority

Talk to me about: Skydiving in Switzerland

Carlisle Maney

Team: Multiple Myeloma

See More

Major: Global Health

Minor: N/A

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Predicting therapy response in patients with multiple myeloma

Scholarships and Fellowships: USC PURF, Gilman Scholarship

Involvements on Campus: Kicks for Kids, Keck Student Ambassador, Pi Beta Phi Sorority

Talk to me about: The outdoors

Vera Hsu

Team: Breast Cancer

See More

Major: Biochemistry & Health and Human Sciences

Minor: N/A

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Assessing Treatment Response and Acquired Drug Resistance of HR+/HER2+ Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients through Liquid Biopsy

Scholarships and Fellowships: Presidential Scholarship, USC Dornsife SOAR

Involvements on Campus: Music Inspiring Community, USC TAO, Camp Kesem, GlamourGals

Talk to me about: One Direction and mahjong

Dean Tessone

Team: Osteosarcoma/Multiple Myeloma

See More

Major: Biological Sciences

Minor: Healthcare Studies

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Assay development focused on detecting circulating osteogenic lineage cells in the peripheral blood in order to better detect osteosarcoma metastases and disease progression through states of multiple myeloma.

Scholarships and Fellowships: N/A

Involvements on Campus: Troy Camp, Trojan Knights, Global Medical Training

Talk to me about: The best fried chicken in LA

Salmaan Sayeed

Team: Bladder Cancer

See More

Major: Computational Neuroscience

Minor: Linguistics

Joined: Spring 2020

Research Focus: Investigating rare cells in bladder cancer samples to identify prognostic markers of the disease. Developing proteomic biomarkers for phenotypic characterization of CRCs.

Scholarships and Fellowships: N/A

Involvements on Campus: USC Mobile Clinic, USC Medesign, Intramural Soccer

Talk to me about: English Premier League!

Cameron Baab

Team: Prostate Cancer

See More

Major: Computer Science

Minor: Computational Biology & Bioinformatics

Joined: Fall 2018

Research Focus: Machine learning/artificial intelligence work with patient data to develop models to predict anything from CTC enumeration to optimal treatment for retinoblastoma patients

Scholarships and Fellowships: N/A

Involvements on Campus: N/A

Talk to me about: Music production and poker

Arushi Agrawal

Team: Breast Cancer

See More

Major: Neuroscience

Minor: Healthcare Studies

Joined: Spring 2019

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

Scholarships and Fellowships: Presidential Scholarship, USC PURF, USC Dornsife SOAR

Involvements on Campus: Community Health Connection, Interaxon, Residential Community Council, Project RISHI, Flying Samaritans

Talk to me about: LA restaurants

Mihir Kumar

Team: Lung Cancer/CAR-T

See More

Major: Human Biology & Economics

Minor: Mathematical Finance

Joined: Spring 2019

Research Focus: Characterization of Small Cell Lung Cancer & Tracking/Monitoring CAR-T cells in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Scholarships and Fellowships: Trustee Scholarship, USC Dornsife SOAR

Involvements on Campus: Project RISHI, KDSAP, EMSC, Imagining America, SCHO

Talk to me about: Investing options

Sean Solomon

Team: Multiple Myeloma

See More

Major: Economics/Mathematics

Minor: Healthcare Studies

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Temporal Dynamic Modeling of Multiple Myeloma Progression from Precursor States

Scholarships and Fellowships: Presidential Scholarship, University Scholarship, USC Dornsife SOAR

Involvements on Campus: Science Outreach, Trojan Youth Soccer League, JEP, USC Cycling Team, International Consulting Club, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Talk to me about: Triathlon and backpacking

Daniel Liu

Team: Prostate Cancer

See More

Major: Biochemistry

Minor: N/A

Joined: Fall 2019

Research Focus: Integrative molecular characterization of circulating and disseminated tumor cells from high-risk localized prostate cancer patients

Scholarships and Fellowships: USC Dornsife SOAR

Involvements on Campus: Troy Camp, Dornsife Ambassador, USC Resident Assistant

Talk to me about: Pokemon and food

CURE Events

The CURE Symposium

The CURE Symposium is held twice a year in order to give CURE students an opportunity to present their work. Faculty, mentors, friends, and family are invited to attend this wonderful event showcasing the hard work of our CURE students. Check out some of the videos above in order to learn more about the type of work our students do and what they present at symposiums!

Night at the Lab

Night at the Lab is held once a year in the fall. This event is put on entirely by undergraduates and invites cancer patients, researchers, clinicians, and community members to explore the type of work we do in the lab. Presentations by undergraduates, Drs. Peter Kuhn and Jim Hicks, collaborators, and patient advocates give attendees an in depth view of the current state of cancer care. We hope to see you at the next one!

Spring 2020 Fellowship awardees

Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Kate CunninghamProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Eric YangProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Ryan StorgardProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Carlise ManeyProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Arushi AgrawalProvost Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Olivia HartDornsife SOAR
Mihir KumarDornsife SOAR
Daniel LiuDornsife SOAR
Vera HsuDornsife SOAR
Sean SolomonDornsife SOAR