Asra N. Shaik named the second Leonard N. Simons Fellow

Pictured left to right: Michele Cote, Ph.D., Simons Fellow Asra N. Shaik and Larry Matherly, Ph.D. 

The second Leonard N. Simons Award for Exemplary Research and Scholarly Achievement was presented to Asra N. Shaik, a fifth year M.D./Ph.D. student, in the prestigious Cancer Biology Graduate Program at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine. She received the award during the eighth annual Cancer Biology Research Symposium on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Asra has been a leader in her M.D. /Ph.D. training program. She served as a M.D. /Ph.D. student representative from 2014-16, which included hosting M.D. /Ph.D. applicants during their visits. Given the nature of her research, she is very active with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Detroit. She was selected as one of 15 graduate and postdoctoral students from around the country to represent Cancer Biology, Wayne State University and Detroit at the second annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Early Career Hill Day in 2017. The event allows trainees to engage and educate key congressional leaders regarding the needs of cancer researchers — particularly those early in their careers.

In November 2016, Asra presented findings from her dissertation research at the AACR Special Meeting on Improving Cancer Risk Prediction for Prevention and Early Detection. Most recently, she was awarded “The Jon Shevell Young Scientist Travel Scholarship” to present her research at the 2018 annual meeting of the AACR in Chicago. 

Asra will defend her dissertation, “Characterizing novel radiologic and pathologic tissue-based risk factors for breast cancer in African American women with benign breast disease,” in June 2018. She will then return to her third year of medical school. 

“Asra is an outstanding candidate for the Leonard Simons Award, having been awarded a F31 Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award in September 2017. She will continue to be an exemplary representative of the Wayne State University Cancer Biology program as she builds her career as an independent cancer physician-scientist,” stated Larry Matherly, Ph.D., Cancer Biology Program Director. “We are delighted to name Asra as the second Leonard Simons’ Fellow.”

The Leonard N. Simons Cancer Research Endowment was established at Karmanos in 1974 and today the endowment supports the Leonard N. Simons Award for Exemplary Research and Scholarly Achievement. To be nominated for the award, students must have attained Ph.D. candidacy status and have completed at least two years of study toward the Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. 

To support the Leonard N. Simons Cancer Research Endowment, please call Denise Lowe at 313-576-8110.