Pathology Research Trainees Peter Nam and Megan Zhao Accepted to Duke Medical School

Peter Nam and Megan Zhao, who studied as Duke undergraduates with Assistant Professor Everardo Macias, PhD, will join Duke Medical School in the fall of 2024. They both graduated with first-author publications. 

In his inaugural independent role, Macias has demonstrated his invaluable contributions to Duke Pathology by spearheading compelling research initiatives, solidifying his position as a leader in the field. In thinking about his numerous breakthroughs and accolades, he identifies his most significant achievement since joining the department as mentoring and watching his students graduate.

“It’s important to be involved as much as I can with undergrads and grad students and helping underrepresented students,” Macias said.

In June, 2023, Nam co-authored a paper with Macias and fellow Duke graduate Amelia Schirmer, who also studied with Macias. Titled “Targeting the Divergent Roles of STK3 Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Growth and Opposes Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity In Vitro,” it was published in the journal Cancers on May 18th, 2023. The study suggested a therapy with the potential to reduce the toxicity of some current breast cancer therapies and slow the growth of tumors. Read more about the study here.

In December 2021, as a third year undergraduate and a Duke Cancer Institute trainee in the Precision Cancer Medicine and Investigational Therapeutics program, Nam was selected to present an abstract at the 8th DCI Scientific Retreat. His work was titled “Two Sided Therapy: STK3 a potential dual Breast Cancer and Cardioprotective Target”. 

In March of 2022 Megan Zhao was co-first author on[SM1]  a study titled “NUAK Family Kinase 2 is a Novel Therapeutic Target for Prostate Cancer” in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis. This foundational study led to the Macias Lab receiving two Department of Defense grants. In 2021, Megan won first place in the undergraduate student research poster competition held during Duke Research Week and graduated with honors and high distinction in biology. Read more about Macias’ work here and about his lab here.