Maria Angelica Cortez
Instructor, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
From an early age, I have had both a curious nature and a passion to reduce human affliction, and these traits led me to a career in oncology research. Since 2004, I have been focusing on the identification of novel drug targets for cancer. During my Master’s and Ph.D program at University of Sao Paulo, one of the most prestigious academic centers in Brazil, I focused on mechanisms of resistance to standard chemotherapy in acute Leukemias and the molecular pathways underlying Glioblastoma tumorigenesis. Upon completing my Ph.D. program, I was recruited to MD Anderson to pursue analogous translational research projects. As a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center, I was afforded the opportunity to explore cutting-edge science in exciting and novel areas of microRNA and long non coding RNAs with potential roles in cancer at Dr. George Calin’s lab. Since 2011, I joined Dr. James Welsh’s laboratory to explore new mechanisms of tumor immune evasion and identification of new potential therapeutic targets to overcome resistance to immunotherapies in combination with standard therapies such as radiation.
My expertise lies in mechanisms of cancer, validating potential cancer targets in vitro and in vivo and translating this potential into future medicines.