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Student Profiles:

Kim Blish, PhD

Matriculated: 2002

Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine


BS (Chemistry), 2002, Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA.

PhD, Molecular Medicine, 2009, Wake Forest University

In collaboration with Human Genome Sciences (Rockville, MD), a new gene product was identified that is down-regulated in certain types of tumors, most notably kidney and breast tumors. This new product is believed to be a member of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) growth factor family. We propose to name this gene product BARC, BMP Antagonist Regulated in Cancer. Our hypothesis is that BARC functions extracellularly to inhibit pro-growth or differentiation signals from the BMP pathway. Loss of the BARC product would conceivably contribute to carcinogenesis.

My work involves: 1) Genotyping of the BARC allele from patient samples; 2) Starting the protein expression characterization and functional studies of BARC in renal and breast cell cultures and 3) Comparing BARC expression in patient samples versus normal controls, in the hopes of examining a potential marker or therapeutic target for kidney cancer.

Grants: BC043274, "A Novel Bone Morphogenetic Protein Antagonist as a Breast Cancer Growth Suppressor." Breast Cancer Research Program, CDMRP, Department of Defense. Predoctoral Traineeship Award, February 2005.

April 2007: Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Los Angeles, CA. Kimberly R. Blish, Mark C. Willingham, Wei Du, Charles E. Birse, Surekha R. Krishnan, Julie C. Brown, Wei Wang, Gregory A. Hawkins, A. Julian Garvin, Ralph B. D'Agostino Jr., Frank M. Torti, Suzy V. Torti. The human bone morphogenetic protein antagonist BARC is downregulated in renal cancers In: American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting: Proceedings; 2007 Apr 14-18; Los Angeles, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; 2007. Abstract #3785.

April 2006: BARC: A Novel, Human BMP Antagonist Downregulated in Breast and Renal Cancers. K.R. Blish, M.C. Willingham, W. Du, C. Birse, J.C. Brown, M.A. Triplette, A.J. Garvin, F.M. Torti, S.V. Torti. Poster for ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting. The Fairmont Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, April 29, 2006.

January 2004: SCGF in Breast Cancer Growth and Detection. K.R. Blish, J. Brown, M. Willingham, C. Birse, F.M. Torti, and S.V. Torti. Poster for the Breast Cancer Center of Excellence Retreat. Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University. January 15, 2004. Winston-Salem, NC.

Rose, K.; Zhao, Y.; Ibdah, JA. Liver Disease in Pregnancy Associated with Maternal Heterozygosity for A Mitochondrial Trifunctional Protein Mutation and A Normal Fetal Genotype. For presentation at Digestive Disease Week, the joint conference of the AASLD, AGA, ASGE, and SSAT. May 17-22, 2003. Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.

Blish, K.R.; Ibdah, J.A. Maternal heterozygosity for a mitochondrial trifunctional protein mutation as a cause for liver disease in pregnancy. Med. Hypotheses. 2005. 64(1): 96-100.

Rose, K.; Hall, LH. E-State Modeling of Fish Toxicity Independent of 3D Structure Information. SAR QSAR Environ. Res. 2003. 14 (2): 113-129

Rose, K.; Hall, LH; Kier, LB. Modeling blood-brain barrier partitioning using the electrotopological state. J. Chem. Inf. Comput. Sci. 2002. May - June; 42(3): 651-66.

Rose, K. Hall, L.H. Modeling of Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability for Drug and Drug-Like Compounds. The Nucleus. (Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society Journal). 2002 Feb; 80(6): 11-15.

Honors and Awards:
August 2005: 1st Place Student Presentation, WFU Cancer Biology Department Annual Retreat

May 2002: Honors Distinction, summa cum laude, Eastern Nazarene College

May 2002: Senior Award in Biochemistry- American Institute of Chemists

April 2001: James Norris-Richard Flack Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarship. Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society.

January 1998: National Merit Scholarship Award

Professional Society Memberships:
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), 2007.

American Physician Scientist Association (APSA), Wake Forest University Institutional Representative, 2004-06.

Interests & Hobbies:
Digital photography

Tennis (watching and playing)



Hanging out with teenagers (I co-lead a youth group)

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