Pathology Graduate Training Program
Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP) -
Alumni

Name: Rebecca Leeman-Neill
Email: leeman.rebecca@medstudent.pitt.edu
Phone: 412- 383-5405
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Grandis

Education:
Undergraduate Degree: BA
Brandeis University

Current Research Description: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a commonly occurring epithelial neoplasm associated with severe morbidity and high mortality. HNSCC is thought to be caused by the effects of carcinogens, particularly those in tobacco and alcohol. Additionally, its severity largely stems from its invasiveness and the frequent occurrence of second primary tumors. Chemoprevention, aimed at counteracting the effects of carcinogens and/or preventing the occurrence of second primary tumors, represents an appropriate way to approach this neoplasm. Many naturally occurring plant-derived compounds have been shown to have anticancer properties. In this study, we aim to identify a plant-derived compound that has the potential for use as a chemopreventive therapy for HNSCC, to characterize its anticancer activity in HNSCC and to evaluate its chemopreventive activity in vivo.

Publications:

Jensen, B.A., Leeman, R.J., Schlezinger, J.J., Sherr, D.H., "Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists suppress interleukin-6 expression by bone marrow stromal cells: an immunotoxicology study," Environ. Health. 2003 Dec 16; 2(1):16.

Abromson-Leeman, S., Bronson, R., Luo, Y., Berman, M., Leeman, R., Leeman, J., Dorf, M., "T-cell properties determine disease site, clinical presentation, and cellular pathology of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis," Am. J. Pathol. 2004 Nov;165(5):1519-33

Lui, V.W., Boehm, A., Koppikar, P., Leeman, R.J., Johnson, D., Ogagan, M., Childs, E., Freilino, M., Grandis, J.R., "Antiproliferative mechanisms of a transcription factor decoy targeting STAT3: the role of STAT1," Molec. Pharm. 2007 May; 71(5): 1435-43

Reviews:

Leeman RJ, Lui VW, Grandis JR. "STAT3 as a therapeutic target in head and neck cancer." Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2006 Mar; 6(3):231-41.

Abstracts:

Lui, V.W., Boehm, A., Xi, S., Koppikar, P., Leeman, R., Ogagan, M., Childs, E., Freilino, M., and Grandis, J.R. "STAT3 decoy disrupts STAT1 signaling without mitigating antitumor efficacy" AACR Meeting Abstracts, Apr 2006; 1109 - 1110.

Leeman, R.J., Singh, S.V., Grandis, J.R. “Guggulsterone and chemoprevention of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma” AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, Nov 2006.

Leeman, R.J., Morgan, S.A., Singh, S.V., Seethala, R.R., Grandis, J.R. “Anticancer activity of guggulsterone in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma” AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, Dec. 2007.

Leeman-Neill, R.J., Cai Q., Arbiser, J.L., Grandis, J.R. “Honokiol targets STAT3 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma” AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, Nov. 2008.

Presentations:

"Guggulsterone and chemoprevention of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma," at AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, Nov. 13, 2006.

Awards:

Scholar-in-Training Travel Award to AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research (2006)

American Society for Clinical Pathology Award for Academic Excellence And Achievement (2007)

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Training Grant (2007)

AACR-Women in Cancer Research Brigid G. Leventhal Scholar in Cancer Research Travel Award to AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research 2007