Corena Grant

Graduate Student

Personal Statement:

IBMS Physiology and Pharmacology Discipline

Lab Association:
Susan Mooberry, Ph.D.

Hobbies and Interests:
Cooking, reading crime novels, hunting and working out


BS, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Minor - Forensic Science
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


My current work is focused on natural product drug discovery for the targeted treatment of 2 types of rare cancers: triple negative breast cancer and pediatric cancer. Triple negative breast cancer accounts for approximately 15% of all breast cancer cases and is an extremely aggressive disease that disproportionately affects younger women and currently has no targeted treatments. Pediatric solid tumors have distinct etiologies compared to adult tumors and while non-targeted treatments are often curative, they leave children at an increased risk for serious complications later in life such as heart disease and secondary malignancies.

We aim to identify plant and fungal extracts with selective activity against models of these rare cancers and isolate pure compounds which may be effective targeted agents against triple negative breast cancer subtypes and/or pediatric solid tumors. Once a compound is isolated that has specific activity, we aim to determine its mechanism of action and evaluate efficacy in vivo against tumor models.

Awards & Accomplishments

American Society of Pharmacognosy Annual Meeting Student Travel Award – May 2017


Devambatla RK, Namjoshi OA, Choudhary S, Hamel E, Shaffer CV, Rohena CC, Mooberry SL, Gangjee A. Design, Synthesis, and Preclinical Evaluation of 4-Substituted-5-methyl-furo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as Microtubule Targeting Agents That Are Effective against Multidrug Resistant Cancer Cells. J Med Chem. 23;59(12):5752-65. 2016.

Shaffer CV, Cai S, Peng J, Robles AJ, Hartley RM, Powell DR, Du L, Cichewicz RH, Mooberry SL. Texas Native Plants Yield Compounds with Cytotoxic Activities against Prostate Cancer Cells. J Nat Prod. 25;79(3):531-40. 2016.

Jans PE, Mfuh AM, Arman HD, Shaffer CV, Larinov OV, Mooberry, SL. Cytotoxicity and Mechanism of action of the Marine-Derived Fungal Metabolite Trichodermamide B and Synthetic Analogs. J Nat Prod. 80(3):676-683. 2017.

Oral Presentations:

A plant-derived compound identifies molecular liabilities of triple-negative breast cancer subtypes. 25th Annual Graduate Student Symposium. Department of Pharmacology, UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX. October 2018. (Invited student speaker)

New approaches for the biological evaluation of natural products with anticancer potential. American Society of Pharmacognosy Annual Meeting. Lexington, KY. July 2018. (Co-presenter of workshop)

Selective activity of englerin A in a group of triple negative breast cancer cells. 6th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium. Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, UT Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX. April 2018. (Invited student speaker)

Determining the mechanism of action of potential anticancer agents: beyond apoptosis. American Society of Pharmacognosy Annual Meeting. Portland, OR. July 2017. (Co-presenter of workshop)