Trainees, Activities and Highlights

OICO has provided training to health care professionals, medical students and medical graduates from many different cultures.

OICO values each trainee and the diverse perspective they bring to our program. Because each OICO training story is unique, the best testimony to our program is found in the experiences of our trainees. We asked current OICO trainees to share their research activities, accomplishment and what they have learned from their training experience. These testimonials are from some of our current trainees who agreed to share their stories.

Ieman Aljahdali

Ms. Aljahdali came to OICO after studying Medical Laboratory Technology and working as a demonstrator at her home university. She was accepted by OICO into a Master degree program in the department of Cell Stress Biology. She completed her Master’s Degree after defending her thesis “Role of c-trapping in anti-cancer activity of DNA-targeting drugs-correlative study.” Ms. Aljahdali continued her training and was accepted into the Cancer Sciences Ph.D. program at Roswell Park. She is working on a research project to investigate the mechanism of action of a new analog of FL118, FL496. Ms. Aljahdali's research indicates that FL496 is superior to FL118 and possesses high anti-tumor efficacy with low toxicity against Fumarate Hydratase-deficient papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma (FH-pRCC), retinoblastoma and Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) cells and tumors. Her generated data suggest that FL496 is more effective inhibiting Survivin and XIAP, activates pro-apoptotic proteins and stabilizes p53 than FL118. In summary, the current studies show that FL496 is a promising agent to be developed to target three types of rare cancers (FH-pCCR, retinoblastoma and MPM).            

During her experience at OICO, Ms. Aljahdali worked with experts from around the world and enjoyed studying cancer in an environment that reflects diverse backgrounds and cultures. The academic coursework and research experience Ms. Aljahdali gained throughout her OICO program has helped shape her career path. She appreciates the opportunity she had to participate in an OICO training program and highly recommends prospective students take the opportunity to study and research at Roswell Park.

Mohammed Alruwaili

Mr. Alruwaili came to OICO after he earned a degree in Medical Laboratory Technology, worked as a teaching assistant at his home university and completed a master's degree (MS) in Medical Laboratory Sciences from Quinnipiac University. He studied "The Role of Sclerostin in Bone Remodeling in a Mouse Model of X-Linked Hypophosphatemia (XLH)."  After MS graduation, he performed research involving stem cells. Mr. Alruwaili is a graduate student in the Cancer Science Ph.D. program at Roswell Park. His research focuses on developing a novel strategy for treatment of p53-mutant cancers, which express high levels of DNA replication and repair (e.g. Base Excision Repair (BER) and Mismatch Repair (MMR)). This treatment targets dysregulation in DNA repair and has broad implications since more than 50% of all human cancers have p53 mutation. Thus, the research project will focus on destemming the effect of p53 mutation on BER-mediate repair and examining the effect of various combination treatments on BER regulation related to p53-p21 role using the in-vitro and in-vivo studies.   

Mr. Alruwaili was a contributing author for these publications:   

  • El-Magd et.al. Incensole acetate prevents beta-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity in human olfactory bulb neural stem cells. Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Sep;105:813-823. PMID:29913410
  • Badawy AA et.al. Altered expression of some miRNAs and their target genes following mesenchymal stem cell treatment in busulfan-induced azoospermic rats. Gene. 2020 May 5;737:144481. PMID: 32070749

Mr. Alruwaili stated that the combination of distinguished faculty, interdisciplinary program, specialized academic courses and excellent research facilities were the prime factors that motivated him to join the OICO. The training at Roswell Park will allow him to pursue a leadership position within the biomedical community in his home country.