By Michele W. Sequeira

Gillette Named UNMCCC Associate Director for Training and Education

Yolanda Sanchez, PhD, director and CEO of The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, has announced that effective January 1, Jennifer Gillette, PhD, serves as the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC) Associate Director for Training and Education.

Jennifer Gillette, PhDDr. Gillette is a Professor and Senior Director for Research for the UNM Department of Pathology. Angela Wandinger-Ness, PhD, formerly held this role through the most recent Cancer Center Support Grant competitive renewal, and she will stay involved in Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination Core (CRTECC) as a senior advisor.

Gillette received her PhD in Cellular and Developmental Biology from the Universityn of Colorado Health Science Center and completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Health. Over the course of her career, she has received many awards, and honors. Most recently, she was awarded a UNM Health Sciences Center Regents Lectureship, and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Her current NIH and American Cancer Society funded research focuses on hematopoietic stem cell and leukemic cell signaling within the bone marrow microenvironment, focusing on the role of the regulatory scaffold prot­eins. Dr. Gillette is a full member of the UNMCCC and most recently served as the Faculty Director for the Flow Cytometry Shared Resource and as an advisory committee member for the Fluorescence Microscopy Shared Resource, the Animal Models Shared Resource and the Genomics Shared Resource.

Dr. Gillette is the Director of the UNM HSC Undergraduate Pipeline Network Program and the new UNM Cancer Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program. She also serves as the Chair of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Admissions Committee and has served as an advisory committee member for the Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination Core under Dr. Wandinger-Ness. Over the last several years, Dr. Gillette has been collaborating with Dr. Wandinger-Ness on a number of cancer education and training initiatives, including their recent successful MPI R25 grant from the National Cancer Institute entitled “University of New Mexico’s CURE for Cancer”, which brings new cancer research and training opportunities to Undergraduate, High School and Middle School Students across New Mexico.

Dr. Wandinger-Ness received an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She holds a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of California - Los Angeles. Dr. Wandinger-Ness completed postdoctoral training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany in 1991. Later that year, she took an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. In 1998, Dr. Wandinger-Ness joined the UNM faculty in the Dept. of Pathology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Wandinger-Ness is passionate about science and education. She is motivated by sleuthing disease mechanisms and translating discoveries into better or new therapies. For nearly 30 years she has led a vibrant research team that includes students and fellows studying kidney disease and ovarian cancer. In the cancer arena, she and her team have identified new uses for known drugs and evaluated the benefits for ovarian cancer in patient trials.

Categories: Comprehensive Cancer Center