Sara Pollan, PhD, earned her doctorate in biomedical science and translational medicine at Cedars-Sinai and a master's in biotechnology at the University of California (UC), Irvine. Her work focuses on models of metastatic cancer growth and maintenance of the tumor-initiating state. She investigates the biological and clinical consequences of alterations in cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion and their effect on drug resistance in human cancer cells. Previously she has contributed to projects at Cedars-Sinai involving bone, heart and brain repair, assisted in head and neck surgeries at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach and completed studies in developmental and regenerative medicine at UC, Irvine and Weller Health Institute of Irvine.
Fangjin Huang earned his master of science in molecular microbiology and immunology from the University of Southern California. During his graduate studies, he trained with Lucio Comai, PhD, studying the relationship between Werner syndrome protein (WRN) and the processes it involved in telomere maintenance.
Maria D. Rodriguez earned her bachelor of science in molecular biology from the University of California at San Diego. Her current work as a PhD student focuses on a novel, cytoskeletal mechanism of resistance in prostate cancer. She investigates the loss of a potential tumor suppressor that may cause this resistance. She previously worked at the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston and at UCLA. In Boston, she worked on detection methods for lung cancer biomarkers and verification of pancreatic cancer biomarkers, and at UCLA on analysis of the evolution of HBV drug resistance in patient samples from South Africa.