Foucar Endowment Awards

The Foucar Endowment: 2015-2016

2015-2016 Travel Awards

Casey Bitting—attendance at CAP in October 2015
Casey Bitting—attendance at AAFS (Academy of Forensic Sciences) conference in February 2016
Hematopathology Fellows—attendance at Knowles Tutorial in New Orleans, Louisiana in January 2016

2015-2016 Research Awards

Qian-Yun Zhang and Brittany Murphy: Immunohistochemical Study of CD49d in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Lauren Dvorscak and Hannah Kastenbaum: Comparison of Postmortem Serum and Vitreous Cortisol Levels

The Foucar Endowment: 2014-2015

2014-2015 Travel Awards

Sophia Rodriguez—attendance at AAFS (Academy of Forensic Sciences) Annual Meeting in February 2015
Nika Aljinovic—attendance at AAFS (Academy of Forensic Sciences) Annual Meeting in February 2015
Parisa Khalili—attendance at 2014 Annual AMP meeting
Eric Loo—attendance at 2014 Annual AMP meeting
Amer Mahmoud—attendance at CAP conference in September 2014
Hematopathology Fellows—attendance at Knowles Tutorial in Miami, Florida in January 2015
Sarah Khaled—62nd Annual Scientific Meeting in November 2014
Jason Morin—National Association of Medical Examiner’s Annual Meeting in September 2014
Angela Miller—National Association of Medical Examiner’s Annual Meeting in September 2014

2014-2015 Research Awards

Joshua Hanson, Ryan Berry, and Benjamin Ramos: Utility of SATB2 in differentiating mucinous adenocarcinoma arising from the colon, upper gastrointestinal tract, ovary, and lung

Mohammad Vasef, Parisa Khalili, and Eric Loo: Evaluation of Mutation Specific Antibodies (i.e., BRAF V600E) in Hematopoietic and Non-Hematopoietic Neoplasms for Potential Targeted Therapies

The Foucar Endowment: 2012-2013

Identification of Genes Disrupted by Novel Translocations of the 9q13 Region in Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma

Principal Investigator: Dr. Therese Bocklage, M.D., Department of Pathology
Additional Investigators: Cory J. Broehm, Jin Wu, Rama Gullapalli, Sue Bassinger, Department of Pathology

photo of therese bocklage

Thèrése J. Bocklage

photo of cory broehm

Cory J. Broehm


Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma is a rare vascular neoplasm with variable intermediate to aggressive behavior. The t(1;3)(p36.3;q25) translocation is unique to this neoplasm, transposing the CAMTA1 and WWTR1 genes, but additional cytogenetic abnormalities have been described, suggesting multiple pathways may lead to its development.

Impact of the project:

Two cases of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma with previously unreported translocations involving the 9q13 region have recently been found at University of New Mexico Hospital. The primary goal of this project is to identify the genes that are disrupted by this novel translocation. We then hope to elucidate what role they might play in the pathogenesis of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma and how this compares to the current knowledge of tumorigenesis.

Cory's thoughts

"I have a strong interest in both cytogenetics and soft tissue tumors. This project has significantly increased my overall knowledge base in both areas, as well as in basic cytogenetic techniques in the laboratory. I have also gained valuable experience in the planning, including the application process and institutional review board requirements, and execution of research projects."

photo of Cory Broehm

Cory J. Broehm

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cell Regulation by the Cellular Microenvironment

Principal Investigator: Dr. Qian-Yun Zhang, Department of Pathology
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jennifer Gillette, Department of Pathology
Investigator: Dr. Daniel Bustamante, Department of Pathology

photo of qian-yun zhang

Qian-Yun Zhang

photo of jennifer gillette

Jennifer Gillette

photo of daniel bustamante

Daniel Bustamante


CLL cells have multiple intimate relationships with their microenvironment in promoting leukemic cell homing, clonal maintenance, proliferation, and surviving. Among them, CXCR4-CXCL12, CXCR5-CXCL13, integrins, cadherins, tetraspanins molecules have been described to play critical roles in CLL interactions with stromal cells. Therefore, in order to better identify patients who may respond to drug treatments and improve patient therapies, it is essential that we determine the role of the cellular microenvironment and identify the specific proteins responsible for regulating CLL cells. The study will enhance our understanding of the cell-to-cell interaction between CLL cells and its microenvironment through direct observation at the molecular level, the protein expression profiling, mapping of proteins at the cell-niche interaction, and correlation with the CLL behaviors such as adhesion, proliferation and metabolism.

Impact of the project

Our data will then be correlated with patient outcome and response to therapy. As such, we expect to identify specific proteins and stromal cell partners that regulate CLL behavior. The knowledge gained through the study will have potential role in evaluating efficacy of adhesion molecule inhibitors in the treatment of CLL.


Thus far, the study is still in the early stages. Few specimens have been studied but the results have already shed some light on further characterizing CLL cells. Eventually we will submit our results/project to be published and will also pursue a poster presentation.

Daniel's thoughts

"Working on this project has been an exciting new experience. Coming from very little research exposure, this project has shed some light on the once mysterious process of IRB submission/approval, research-training, and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Given that this project requires heavy contributions from the Research lab and also from the clinical Hem-Oncology side, I have been able to approach issues from different perspectives other than simply a diagnostic side."

photo of daniel bustamante

Daniel Bustamante