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PROVIDES Scholar in Treatment Resistance in Advanced Breast Cancer

Chantal Vidal, Ph.D.


Mentor: Prasanna Alluri, Ph.D.
City Born In: El Paso, TX
City Grew Up In: El Paso, TX & Juarez, Chihuahua

Chantal Vidal, Ph.D.
How did you become interested in science and/or research specifically?

Approximately 20 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully, because of all the treatments available at the time, she can call herself a survivor. However, this isn’t the case for many people struggling with their own battle with breast cancer. As a consequence of this experience, I realized that I wanted to be part of the research community and help find an effective treatment or cure.

In four sentences or fewer, tell us about your research project and its relevance to human health or impact on scientific discovery. Remember that you are trying to convince prospective postdocs that the research at UTSW is innovative and relevant.

Due to the urgent need to develop new treatments to block the growth of tumors that have become unresponsive to all existing therapies, one of my proposed goals is to understand and define the mechanisms of treatment resistance in advanced breast cancer. I will employ genome-edited breast cancer cells and xenografts derived from treatment-refractory breast cancer patients to define mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapies and CDK4/6 inhibitors. Furthermore, through a recently established collaboration between the Alluri lab and Humanized Mouse Core at University of Wisconsin, I will employ humanized mouse models to identify novel combination treatments that enhance the response of treatment-refractory breast tumors to immunotherapies.

Have you received any awards or fellowships during your graduate or postdoc training? Please specify the stage of career and the type of recognition?
Postdoctoral Awards/Fellowships:

UT Southwestern PROVIDES Fellow (2021)
Recipient of the CPRIT training grant RP210041 (2021-present)

Ph.D. Fellowships/Awards:

Ph.D. Research Small Grant (2019)
Appointed Graduate Research Assistant (2016-2021)
Graduate Tuition Scholarship (2015-2021)

Why did you choose to come to UT Southwestern for your postdoc training?

I chose UT Southwestern for my postdoctoral training because it is a top-tier research institution. My previous experience as a SURF student reinforced my idea of UTSW as a competitive research institution with a friendly and collaborative environment.

What do you appreciate about your training here or why should a prospective postdoc choose to do their postdoc training here?

The department of Radiation Oncology focuses on interlinking clinical trials and basic science research to improve treatments for patients. Specifically, working under Dr. Prasanna Alluri, we focus on bedside-to-bench approaches to study mechanisms of treatment resistance in breast cancer. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of how targets work is always fascinating, but we should never lose track of our end goal, helping patients. Working in a translational lab gives us a solid backbone to understand how our pre-clinical models can be applied in a clinical setting.

– Chantal Vidal, Ph.D., PROVIDES Scholar

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