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ABTA Announces the 2020 Lucien Rubinstein Award Recipient

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The American Brain Tumor Association has awarded the 2020 Rubinstein Award to Edith Yuan for her project, “Effects of Silencing Long Non-Coding RNA on the Malignancy of Glioblastomas.” Edith is a 2020 ABTA Jack & Fay Netchin Medical Student Summer Fellowship Recipient and a third-year medical student at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. The Lucien Rubinstein Award is given to an ABTA Medical Student Summer Fellow who scored the highest marks from a panel of expert reviewers on the student’s final research report.

The Rubinstein Award serves as an inspiration and encouragement to continue neuro-oncology research as a medical student and as a future physician-scientist.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive the Rubinstein Award. Being recognized for my research in neuro-oncology is an unbelievably great achievement, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity and support of the ABTA, my school and my mentor,” said Edith. “The Rubinstein Award serves as an inspiration and encouragement to continue neuro-oncology research as a medical student and as a future physician-scientist.”

Edith chose to spend a summer studying a type of molecule in cells called long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and their impact on glioblastoma (GBM) at Dr. Frank Attenello’s laboratory. Dr. Attenello is a surgeon specializing in neuro-oncology.

Edith completed her project and helped identify how a novel lncRNA affects resistance to the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ), a standard therapy to treat GBM. She found that by decreasing the lncRNA level, the cancer cells respond better to TMZ. This indicates that the lncRNAs may be a promising target for overcoming resistance to TMZ in these patients.

Although her project hit considerable roadblocks due to the ongoing pandemic, Dr. Attenello has praised her drive to complete the project.  

“When faced with obstacles, Edith is motivated to understand the challenge by referring to literature or trying alternative methods, constantly improving her problem-solving skills. The ABTA fellowship has provided her with unparalleled experiences in learning how to become a scientist. These experiences and skills will translate into better patient care as well.”

Learn more about Edith’s research project

Recipients of the Lucien Rubinstein Award receive $1,000 for their outstanding research work. The award is named in honor of the late Lucien J. Rubinstein, MD, who was a pioneer in neuropathology at the University of Virginia and a world-renowned brain tumor researcher. The ABTA is thankful to all scientific reviewers for their insightful review of the submitted applications.

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