December 12, 2014
Daniel Crona, PharmD, has been awarded the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s 2014 Kathryne A. Brewington Graduate Student Research Award for work identifying the genetic factors associated with cancer survival.
Crona’s dissertation research identified and is in the process of validating novel genetic variants associated with survival in patients with advanced or metastatic kidney cancer. Discovery of novel predictive variants could allow health-care providers to identify the patients that would benefit most from treatment with the drug sorafenib.
Sorafenib was first approved by the U.S. FDA to treat patients with renal cell carcinoma and was later approved to treat liver and thyroid carcinomas. Sorafenib works by preventing the tumor growth signaling and the growth of new blood vessels.
“We are the first to associate the importance of these genetic variants to differences in overall survival among patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who are treated with sorafenib,” Crona says.
The award is given every year to the School’s most outstanding doctoral student in the pharmaceutical sciences. Crona’s adviser is Associate Professor Federico Innocenti, MD, PhD.
Winners of the award receive a plaque and a $1,500 grant that can be used to fund research, travel to a research institution to develop new skills, or attend a national scientific meeting to present dissertation results.
“I am ecstatic that I have been chosen as the recipient of this prestigious award,” Crona says. “I am humbled by this honor.”
Crona plans to use the grant to travel to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, where he will present data from his dissertation research.
In 2010, Crona received his doctor of pharmacy from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he graduated with highest distinction and research honors.
That same year, Crona began the PhD program at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He is currently on the clinical and translational track with the School’s Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics.
He expects to earn his PhD after his dissertation defense in April 2015.