Doctoral Student, Adaixa Padron, wins 2019 UF Health Cancer Center Pre-doctoral Award

Addie Padron

Adaixa Padron, MS (Mentor: Deidre B. Pereira, PhD, ABPP) has won the 2019 UF Health Cancer Center Pre-doctoral Award for her dissertation entitled Diurnal Variations in Salivary Concentrations of Pro-Tumorigenic Cytokines and Possible Effects of Psycho-Physiological Stress in Gynecologic Cancer Patients and Matched Healthy Controls.

The award will support Ms. Padron’s dissertation, which seeks to identify and compare the diurnal circadian pattern of salivary concentrations of pro-tumorigenic and inflammatory cytokines in gynecologic oncology patients and age and race/ethnicity matched non-cancer controls. Specifically, salivary interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) concentrations will be examined given empirical evidence for their (1) successful detection and quantification in saliva, (2) consistently increased salivary concentrations in response to acute stress, and (3) possible diagnostic utility within oropharyngeal oncology populations. The study further aims to examine the relationships between psycho-physiological stress (i.e., subjective [perceived stress] and objective [salivary cortisol] measures of stress) and diurnal salivary cytokine expression in these two groups. Ms. Padron’s dissertation study is also funded by the National Cancer institute through the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA; F31 CA247421).

This competitive award is given annually and is intended to recognize and support outstanding pre-doctoral candidates who are conducting innovative cancer research. The award allots a total of $10,000 to the recipient for a one-year period: $8,000 for lab/research supplies and equipment as well as $2,000 for professional development or research related travel support.

The award will be presented at the UFHCC Research Day on March 17, 2020.