Rachel Katzenellenbogen has been named the inaugural Chuck and Tina Pagano Scholar at Indiana University School of Medicine. She will hold that title as well as associate professor of pediatrics. Katzenellenbogen is also a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and a member of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research.

The Chuck and Tina Pagano Cancer Research Fund was established last spring by many in the Indianapolis community to ensure that researchers will have funding to support their work early in their careers. In the same way that Pagano, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, mentored young football players as they launched their careers, this fund will support promising junior researchers at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

“Tina and I are so touched to know that so many wonderful friends in Indianapolis were so generous in creating the Pagano Fund for Cancer Research,” Chuck Pagano said. “To see that fund in action through Dr. Katzenellenbogen being recruited to IU to continue her research is very humbling. I know cancer research is the reason I’m still alive today, and I can’t tell you what it means to us to be able to pay that forward. We hope Dr. Katzenellenbogen’s research will benefit many.”

Katzenellenbogen’s cancer research focuses on the fundamental way human papillomavirus, or HPV, drives cancer development and progression, how that drive is common to all cancers or is unique to this infection-associated cancer and identifying ways to detect and disrupt these pathways to intervene early in treatment.

She holds several grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Katzenellenbogen previously served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

She completed her residency in the Department of Pediatrics and fellowships in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and the Center for AIDS and STD Research at the University of Washington.

She is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine among others.

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