UVA Student Researcher Earns Prestigious Award from the National Cancer Institute


Natasha Sheybani, a fourth-year PhD candidate and member of the Price Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, was recently awarded a Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition (F99/K00) Award by the National Cancer Institute. The award is intended to aid students who aspire to start an independent cancer research lab.

Sheybani2The award supports outstanding PhD and other Research Doctoral candidates in completing their dissertation research training and transitioning in a timely manner to mentored, cancer-focused postdoctoral career development research positions.

“My current research focus is centered on exploring mechanisms of immune response to primary or disseminated tumors elicited by focused ultrasound and leveraging this information to design and test immunotherapeutic approaches predicted to synergize with focused ultrasound,” explains Sheybani.

“In the future, I intend to expand upon this training to incorporate development of personalized, multifunctional nanoparticle vaccine systems to improve immunotherapies for cancer treatment in combination with focused ultrasound treatment.”

Sheybani was also a recipient of a young investigator award at the Foundation’s 2018 Symposium on Focused Ultrasound. Three of her abstracts were accepted for presentation at the meeting:

  • Leveraging MR image-guided focused ultrasound to potentiate immunotherapy for glioblastoma
  • Developing synergy between immunotherapy and focused ultrasound ablation for metastatic breast cancer
  • Exploiting FUS as a strategy for myeloid cell modulation and repolarization in metastatic breast cancer