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Audra Iness


Education: California State University, Fresno, Smithcamp Honors College, B.S. in Biology (2013)
Hometown: Fresno, CA
PhD Advisor: Larisa Litovchick, MD, PhD
Graduate Program: CCTR - Cancer and Molecular Medicine


Research Interests:

Audra's previous research experiences include areas of environmental microbiology, cancer molecular therapeutics, and clinical ultrasound diagnostics. In the Litovchick lab, her thesis project is focused on B-Myb, a recognized oncoprotein with a known function in cell cycle gene regulation. High B-Myb levels are associated with a poor prognosis in ovarian cancer, yet its role in this devastating disease is not well understood. We seek to characterize the mechanisms by which B-Myb alters the formation of cell cycle gene regulatory complexes (DREAM and MMB), cell cycle gene expression, and, in turn, the clinical course of high grade serous ovarian carcinoma. Our ultimate goal is to identify predictive markers and therapuetic targets for treatment of ovarian cancer.

Personal Bio:

Audra was born and raised in Fresno, the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley. When she is not studying, Audra enjoys spending time with her two fluffy cats, working out, playing soccer, cooking, and drinking lots of coffee.

Honors, Awards, and Grants:

President-Elect, American Physician Scientists Association
Association of Clinical Pathologists & The Intersociety Council for Pathology Information, Pathology Honor Society

Professional, Leadership, and Service Activities:

Admissions Committee Member: VCU School of Medicine
President and Founder: VCU American Physician Scientists Association Local Chapter
President and Founder: Advocates for MD-PhD Women at VCU
President: VCU Medical Center Injury & Violence Prevention Program
American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) National Chapter:
President-Elect 2017-2018, Chair: Public Relations Standing Committee 2016-2017, Institutional Representative and Local Chapter President 2015-2016 (2016 Annual Meeting Travel Grant; 2015 Keynote Award)
Mattaponi Healing Eagle Clinic: Volunteer Coordinator 2013-2016


Marceau, A.H., Felthousen, J.G., Goetsch, P.D., Iness, A.N., Lee, H. W., Tripathi, S. M., Litovchick, L. & Rubin, S.M. Structural basis for LIN54 recognition of CHR elements in cell cycle-regulated promoters. Nature Communications, 2016;7.

Li, C., Iness, A., Yoon, J., Grider, J.R., Murthy, K.S., Kellum, J.M. & J.F. Kuemmerle. "Noncanonical STAT3 Activation Regulates Excess TGF-β1 and Collagen I Expression in Muscle of Stricturing Crohn's Disease." J Immunol. 1;194(7):3422-31; 2015.

Erickson, T., Iness, A.N., Vitali, C., Zhao, Y. & R. Salgia. "Non-small cell lung cancer is susceptible to induction of DNA damage responses and inhibition of angiogenesis by telomere overhang oligonucleotides." Cancer Lett. 1;343(1):14-23; 2014.

Abstracts, Posters, and Presentations:

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) Group MD-PhD Professional Development Meeting: "A national survey of clinical continuity strategies in MD-PhD curricula" MD-PhD Program Seminar: “Mechanisms of B-MYB-mediated disruption of cell cycle gene expression in cancer”

American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)/ Association of American Physicians (AAP)/American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) Joint Meeting: "LIN52 stability and formation of cell cycle gene regulators, the DREAM and MMB complexes"

Combined Annual Meeting of Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research (CSCTR) and the Midwestern Section of the American Federation for Medical Research (MWAFMR): "LIN52 stability and formation of cell cycle gene regulators, the DREAM and MMB complexes" - Trainee Travel Award Recipient

VCU MD-PhD Second Look
"Regulation of LIN52: A Key Component of the DREAM and MMB Complexes"

Fourth International Rb Meeting
"Regulation of LIN52: A Key Component of the DREAM and MMB Complexes"