Farzana A. Faisal

I began my work with Tamara Lotan as a medical student at Johns Hopkins, and our research has focused on the biological determinants of racial disparities in prostate cancer. African-American men have a 1.5-fold higher incidence of prostate cancer than European-American men, and are nearly 2.5 times more likely to die from their disease. The biologic and genetic causes of these disparities are unknown. My work with Dr. Lotan has identified several molecular subtypes and genomic alterations of prostate cancer that are unique to African-American men. Importantly, some of these genomic alterations are directly associated with increased risks of metastasis and poor prognosis in this population. These genetic discoveries are critical for the development of prognostic and therapeutic approaches for precision medicine in African-American men.

Questions & Answers

What does receiving this award mean to you personally and professionally? Do you have any connection with the particular award you received?

Johns Hopkins and the Brady urology department provided me with endless resources to pursue scientific research endeavors alongside my career in medicine. For this, I feel personally grateful for receiving the Physician Scientist Award. My mentors at Hopkins not only contribute to my surgical training, but also fully endorse my work in urologic research and discovery.

What contributed to your project’s success?

My work would not have been possible without the tremendous support from and guidance by Dr. Lotan.

What thoughts do you have about Young Investigators’ Day itself, as a celebration of the roles students and fellows play in research at Johns Hopkins?

It is a testament to the spirit of Hopkins Medicine that Young Investigators’ Day recognizes those physicians who are working toward both a career in medicine and science. Many of my fellow residents are engaged in high-quality scientific research while also balancing the grueling hours of residency, and I am extremely honored to be representing all of us at Young Investigators’ Day!

What are your plans over the next year or so? Graduating, looking for faculty positions, etc.?

In July 2019, I will return to my surgical training for my last two years as a urology resident.

Tell me something interesting about yourself that makes you unique. Do you have any special hobbies, interests or life experiences?

I grew up in Lake City, Florida, and attended Yale University. I enjoy cooking from celebrity cookbooks, going through several novels a month on my Kindle, and spending time with my co-residents around Baltimore.