Dr. Elyssa Bernfeld
received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Graduate Center in 2018 and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Pfizer.
Elyssa began her academic career at the University of Delaware as a Biochemistry major. There, she began her research career working on developing a protocol to synthesize selenoproteins. Her interest in industry began here, through an internship at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
Upon completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 2013, Elyssa began her Ph.D. studies at CUNY in Fall 2013. She worked in Professor David Foster’s laboratory at Hunter College researching the dysregulated metabolism of cancer cells. During her time in the Foster lab, Elyssa worked on the mTOR signaling pathway, a highly deregulated pathway in many cancers leading to aberrant cell growth. Elyssa’s dissertation research focused on elucidating the mechanism of activation of the mTOR pathway in response to glutamine, an amino acid that many cancers are highly addicted to for their proliferation. Elyssa presented this work at several conferences throughout her time at CUNY, and the work is currently under submission for publication. While at Hunter College, Elyssa received the Inga Richter award for excellence in teaching biology, and the Beatrice Konheim graduate scholarship in the life sciences.
Upon defending her dissertation and graduating from CUNY in June 2018, Elyssa moved on to a post-doc position at Pfizer, under the direction of Robert T. Abraham and Jeremy Myers in the Oncology Research and Development unit, continuing her studies on the mechanisms regulating the mTOR pathway.
Elyssa noted, “Starting my postdoc position at Pfizer I feel confident that the CUNY Biochemistry Ph.D. program helped prepare me for this next stage in my career. From the coursework, to my research experience in the Foster lab, I was provided with a breadth of biochemistry knowledge that has primed me for a successful scientific career. ”
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