Thomas Pulliam's last day of rotation with the Nghiem Lab.


UW’s Undergraduate Research Symposium 5/20/16. Explaining MCC research to people who have never heard of Merkel cell carcinoma was fun and challenging!
Ilsa and Mac (PN Lab Members) shown above

Jamil and Hannah (PN Lab Members) shown above

Zoe (PN Lab Member) shown above


Dr. Paul Nghiem to give keynote lecture at the
6th Annual Harley Haynes Lectureship and Symposium at Harvard Medical School on
Monday March 21, 2016.

Please also see Derm Article here


Betsy Williams, Dermatology Division Administrator retires after 29 years of service at UW!

click here to view amazing photos and videos from her retirement celebration!


Noon Conference at SCCA on 5/26/15, Lab Team!


Undergraduate Research Symposium 2015:

From Left to Right above: Jamil Qazi, Austin Anderson, Hannah Thomas, Seesha Takagishi, Dr. "P", Tessa Marx


MCC posters presented by Nghiem Lab Members at this year's SID meeting in Atlanta...
Dafina Ilbrani, Ryan Doumani, Christopher Lewis...

(top to bottom: Dafina Ilbrani, Ryan Doumani, Christopher Lewis)

04/15 Drs. Nghiem and Kawasumi will lead a new, 5-year NIH R01 grant entitled "Mechanisms of UV-induced DNA damage responses and carcinogenesis in skin."

Big congratulations are due to Erica Shantha who today found out that she matched in dermatology! On Friday, March 20, she will find out where she will train (and in her case, WHEN, since she might start in 2015 or 2016). Hooray!

03/15 Masaoki Kawasumi is co-organizing the 3rd Seattle Genetic Instability and Cancer Symposium to be held on June 15, 2015
02/15 Kaifeng Hung (a PhD candidate in Oral Biology) successfully completed his Doctoral Dissertation Defense. "Distinct effects of the two major types of UV-induced DNA lesions on DNA damage responses"
12/14 Masaoki Kawasumi gave a talk at the UW Dermatology Grand Rounds. "Caffeine as a tool to better understand and inhibit UV-induced skin cancers"
11/14 Lab Members gathered together for Pre-Thanksgiving photo!
10/14 Masaoki Kawasumi's paper on small-molecule screening for novel ATR pathway inhibitors was published online in Cancer Research. "Identification of ATR-Chk1 pathway inhibitors that selectively target p53-deficient cells without directly suppressing ATR catalytic activity"
11/13 Dr. Nghiem was honored to deliver the 38th MH Samitz Lectureship at University of Pennsylvania on November 7, 2013. See PDF of program here.
09/13 Dr. Nghiem receives the American Cancer Society Legacy & Leadership Award: Find Cures Award. Legacy & Leadership Celebration
06/13 Masaoki Kawasumi, MD, PhD, leads a study, published in PNAS on the genetic mechanism by which caffeine diminshes UV-induced skin cancers.
06/13 Masaoki Kawasumi, MD, PhD, received a highly selective, 3-year Research Career Development Award from the Dermatology Foundation.
04/13 Olga Afanasiev defended her thesis entitled, "Merkel cell polyomavirus-specific T cell responses, immune evasion mechanisms & immune therapy in Merkel cell carcinoma" on April 5, 2013. She will have derived 8 original publications (4 first/co-first author, 4 contributing author) and 3 reviews/chapters from her Ph.D. research. Olga is beginning her clinical medical school rotations in July 2013 and will stay involved in research as feasible.

Masaoki Kawasumi received a Dermatology Foundation Research Career Development Award
(three-year support).

03/12 On Thursday, March 29, 2012, Dr. Paul Nghiem of the University of Washington Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, was honored at an event celebrating his selection as the first Michael Piepkorn Endowed Chair in Dermatology Research chair holder. Faculty, family, colleagues, staff and friends attended this festive occasion.
10/11 Dr. Nghiem was appointed to the Michael W. Piepkorn Endowed Chair in Dermatology, effective October 1, 2011. Dr. Nghiem is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology, as well
  as an Affiliate Investigator in the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is Director of the Skin Oncology Clinical Program at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The Piepkorn Chair was recently establighed by Michael Piepkorn, MD, PhD, a Clinical Profesor in the
Dermatology Division and a graduate of the UW Dermatology Residency Program. Dr. Piepkorn received his PhD from UW and has served for many years as a dermatologist, dermatopathologist, and investigator whose research is focused on melanoma.
08/11 The Nghiem lab is awarded an R01 grant from the NCI to study humoral and cellular immunity in polyomavirus-linked Merkel cell carcinoma.
06/11 Paul Nghiem discusses Americans' higher incidence of skin cancer on the left side because of where we drive in our cars on KIRO with Chris Sullivan. A link to the article is available here.
06/11 Paul Nghiem discusses sun exposure, skin cancer, and other skin-related issues on KUOW's "The Conversation" with Ross Reynolds. A link to a recording of the interview is available here.
06/11 Dr. Paulson's study of the risk of melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma shows that about one in ten of these cancers is likely associated with sun exposure while driving because these cancers occur more often on the left arm than the right arm in the US. In Australia, where drivers sit on the right side of the car, the risk is reversed for sun-associated skin cancers. A pdf of the article is available here, and a link to the USA Today article is available here.
03/11 Paul Nghiem discusses the good and bad of UV radiation in a talk at the 35th Hawaii Dermatology Seminar put on by the Skin Disease Education Foundation . A link to a video of the presentation is available here.
08/10 In a collaborative study from ten centers around the United States, a new staging system for MCC was created and adopted for worldwide use in 2010. It replaces five conflicting staging systems and should promote a better understanding of stages and outcomes in MCC. 5,823 cases of MCC were analyzed in this study to create the new staging system. A pdf of the article is available here.
04/10 Many prior studies have shown that radiation can be an effective way to treat Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin. A study led by Dr. Fang now shows that radiation, used alone, is similar in efficacy to surgery in treating MCC that has spread to lymph nodes. Click here to read the article.

Dr. Nghiem is featured in Seattle magazine's Top Doctors issue.  Click for a pdf of the article.


05/09 Dr. Nghiem is featured in City Living Seattle's Health and Wellness issue.  The front page article discusses how caffeine may reduce the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers.  click here to read the article
02/09 Drs. Paul Nghiem, Masoki Kawasumi and Tim Heffernan publish a possible rationale for caffeine's UV protective effects: “ATR–Chk1 Pathway Inhibition Promotes Apoptosis after UV Treatment in Primary Human Keratinocytes: Potential Basis for the UV Protective Effects of Caffeine” Press coverage for the article was strong. Some of the coverage is listed here.

Dr. Nghiem is featured in Seattle King 5's Cancer Breakthroughs special.

In a new Jean Enersen Healthlink Special "Cancer Breakthroughs (From Head to Toe)" a number of local researchers discuss their work on diagnosing and treating cancer.  Dr. Nghiem is featured for his work on caffiene and skin cancer. Click here to see the video.


Miranda Schmidt joins the lab.

Miranda Schmidt joins the lab as an undergraduate research assistant.  Miranda has a Junior class standing at the University of Washington where she is majoring in Biochemistry. 


Sherry Lee joins the lab.

Sherry Lee joins the lab as an undergraduate research assistant.  Sherry has Junior class standing at the University of Washington where she is majoring in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology.   Sherry also studies traditional and modern Chinese.


Renee Thibodeau joins the lab.

Renee Thibodeau joins the lab as a research assistant.  She moved to Seattle after graduating from Whitman College in 2007 with a BA in Biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology. Renee skied NCAA for Whitman and is now enjoy volunteering for the UW ski team. Renee is originally from Maine and plans to pursue graduate studies a little closer to home in the future.


Science Central features caffeine's potential role in skin cancer prevention.

Dr. Nghiem was interviewed by Science Central for his work on caffeine and skin cancer. Click here to see the video interview.


Collaborative research with Dr. Allan Conney at Rutgers University yields insight into the mechanism of caffeine's protective effects after UV damage in mouse skin.

A study looking at the effects of caffeine on the inhibition of the ATR/Chk1 pathway is published in Cancer Research. They found that administration of caffeine to mice enhances clearance of DNA-damaged cells after treatment with UV. [pdf]


Dr. Nghiem is featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Newspaper.

Dr. Nghiem is featured on the cover of the Seattle PI Saturday Newspaper discussing his research on the role of topical caffeine in preventing skin cancer in mice. Click here to read the article



Ashley Warcola joins the lab.

Ashley Warcola joins the lab as a research assistant. She is returning to Seattle after graduating from the University of Portland and spending a year in a physiology lab at OHSU. She has projects on both the replication checkpoint and Merkel cell carcinoma. Kelly Garneski (left) teaches Ashley Warcola (right) about the function of trypsin.


John Pylman joins the lab for the summer.

John Pylman, M.S. joins the lab as a research assistant. He is a fourth-year M.D./M.P.H. candidate at George Washington University, focusing on Merkel cell carcinoma investigations at the Nghiem laboratory.


The role of topical caffeine after UV in protecting from photodamage is described.

Drs. Koo, Kawasumi and Nghiem publish their findings in the British Journal of Dermatology. [pdf]


Erin Higgins joins the lab.

Erin Higgins joins the lab as an undergraduate lab assistant. She is a student at the University of Washington, where she is pursuing degrees in Microbiology and Spanish.


Kelly Garneski joins the lab.

Kelly Garneski, an MSTP student, joined the lab for the summer and chose the Nghiem lab for her PhD thesis work. She has extensive research experience and will be studying the biology of Merkel Cell Carcinoma.


Bianca Lemos joins the lab.

Bianca Lemos, MD, joins the lab after completing her Medicine internship at the University of Washington. She will be focusing on the effect of inhibiting the replication checkpoint on UV-induced carcinogenesis and will participate in maintaining the Merkel cell carcinoma database.

04/06 Protein Kinases and Cancer Therapy featured in Oncogenomics textbook. This chapter provides an overview of new and emerging approaches to target protein kinases in cancer therapy. [pdf]
03/06 Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD, is featured in an article in the March 1, 2006, issue of Dermatology Times

The Nghiem Lab moves to Seattle.

Dr. Nghiem moves his lab to the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Kawasumi will join him in Seattle in the Fall, and Dr. Heffernan will remain a part of the lab but will physically remain in Boston. New lab members beginning in the summer include Michelle Heath, MD, and Bianca Lemos, MD. Dr. Heath is a Dermatology fellow working with the Merkel Cell Carcinoma database. Dr. Lemos is a research fellow working on UV carcinogenesis in ATR-deficient mice.


Tim Heffernan, PhD, from UNC Chapel Hill, joins the lab

Dr. Heffernan did his PhD with William Kaufmann in North Carolina on the replication checkpoint and ultraviolet-induced DNA damage. He brings extraordinary expertise in this field to our lab. He is working on the roles of ATR and Chk1 in the response to UV damage in mouse and human cells.


Merkel Cell Carcinoma website launched.

This website will serve as a unique resource for Merkell cell carcinoma patients and their physicians.

Written and conceived together with Sheela Gupta and Linda Wang and implemented by Digizyme, Inc.

Click here to view website.

06/04 Adam Chen, junior at Tufts University, joins the lab for the summer.
Adam is a junior at Tufts University majoring in Biology. He will be responsible for maintaining our transgenic mice and focusing on carcinogenesis.


Douglas Levine, senior at MIT, joins the lab full time.
Douglas is a senior at MIT majoring in Biology. He will be working on the transgenic mouse project with a focus on primary keratinocytes.
04/04 Masaoki Kawasumi, MD, PhD, from Keio University, joins the lab.
Dr. Kawasumi is working on the development small molecule inhibitors of ATR.

A key role for ATR in HIV biology.

In an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Vicente Planelle's laboratory, ATR has been shown to play a key role in the cellular response to HIV-1 infection in two papers. [MCB 2004] & [JBL 2003]


Sang-Wahn Koo, MD, PhD, dermatologist and scientist joins the lab.
Dr. Koo was Assistant Professor of Dermatology in Korea, and has done post-doctoral work for the past three years in the USA.
09/03 Five-year NIH Grant Awarded to the lab:  "The Replication Checkpoint and Genomic Fidelity in Skin."
This proposal to study the replication checkpoint and small molecules to regulate it, was rated in the top 4.8% of grants submitted to the Chemical Pathology Study Section of the NIH. It will provide critical funding for our studies through 2008.
08/03 Rapamycin and nutrient signaling are profiled in a review with Aly Shamji and Stuart Schreiber. [pdf]
12/02 Essential role for ATR in the regulation of chromosomal fragile sites described in Cell.
Through an ongoing collaboration with Anne Casper and the laboratory of Thomas Glover at University of Michigan, a key role of ATR was unraveled. [pdf]


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