Second Annual Beckman Scholars’ Lecture with Dr. Ross Cagan

Picture of students in discussionThe Beckman Scholars, Ben Wu and Jordan Barrows, are excited to host Dr. Ross Cagan from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital for the second annual Beckman Scholars’ Lecture. Dr. Cagan is a leader in cancer research and will be giving his talk, titled “A Fly Approach to Cancer Therapeutics”, on Wednesday, February 10th at 9:30 AM in Kuiper Space Science Room 308. Before the Wednesday talk, the Beckman Scholars have organized an informal discussion of career options with Dr. Cagan. This discussion will take place on Tuesday, February 9th in Life Science South Room 340 and gives students a unique opportunity to meet and personally interact with a distinguished scientist who has managed to find the difficult balance between research and patient care. Dr. Cagan’s unique perspective on how to bridge these two seemingly separate career paths gives him the ability to speak about careers in both fields and will be extremely insightful to those considering an MD/PhD program. Food will be provided from Tucson Tamale and we will be taking a short trip to Gate’s Pass after to watch the sunset. The Beckman Scholars are extremely excited to share this unique opportunity with the UBRP community. Space for the discussion is limited to 12 students so please sign up quickly at if you are interested.

Dr. Cagan is currently a Professor in the Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics. In addition to these duties, Dr. Cagan is also a leader in the field of cancer research. His research focuses on the use of fly models to address specific aspects of cancer. The use of fly models allows Dr. Cagan to study and understand cancer from a broad, organism wide level in situ. By performing large scale genetic and drug screens in these fly models, Dr. Cagan has been able to uncover novel gene sequences and identify drugs effective in combating cancer. His work has helped validate Vandetanib as a therapeutic for Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma and has identified novel mechanisms that direct transformed cells into the first steps towards metastasis. Dr. Cagan has also adapted this research approach to fit the needs of individual patient care in his role as Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics. Here, Dr. Cagan has created new tools that allow patients to screen for individual drug cocktails by using personalized fly models.

Dr. Cagan’s achievements have established him as a leader in research and patient care. We are honored to host Dr. Cagan for the second annual Beckman Scholars Lecture and are extremely excited he is available to share his unique perspective with the UBRP community. We hope to see you all at the lecture and the career options discussion!