Tuskegee University graduate student receives national research honor



TUSKEGEE, Ala. (January 4, 2012) — Tuskegee University integrative bioscience student Jacqueline D. Jones-Triche was recently awarded the Experimental Pathologist-in-Graduate Training Award by the American Society for Investigative Pathology. According to its website, the award is presented to graduate students who have excelled in “investigative efforts in studying mechanisms of disease.”

Jones-Triche, a Ph.D. candidate who will defend her thesis this semester, said she was “excited and humbled” by the honor.

“It’s open to any graduate student from any school,” Jones-Triche said of the competitive award. “It’s not just for HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). This shows that we (black students) can perform research that is globally significant as well as locally.”

Candidates for the award must submit an abstract to the investigative pathology organization’s annual meeting, an extended research report and a letter of recommendation.

Jones-Triche’s abstract, “Kaiso: A key regulator in EMT and cancer progression,” is based on her current research. In 2009, she identified a protein in humans that determines the progression of metastatic breast and prostate cancer. The protein, Kaiso, was first discovered in other species. It is called a functional biomarker, meaning the protein’s presence can help predict whether a cancer will spread or respond to treatment.

“We can treat primary tumors; we cannot treat metastasis,” explained Clayton Yates, Jones-Triche’s mentor and associate professor at Tuskegee.

The award will be presented to Jones-Triche at a meeting and awards ceremony at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. on April 23. She will also receive a $1,500 stipend.

After earning her Ph.D., Jones-Triche plans to enter into post-graduate research.

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