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School of Medicine Greenville

Faculty Profile

Faculty and Staff

Anna V. Blenda, Ph.D.

Title: Professor
Biomedical Sciences
Director of Research Strategy and Operations
School of Medicine Greenville
E-mail: ablenda@greenvillemed.sc.edu
Phone: 864-766-2087
   
Office: 701 Grove Road
Greenville SC 29605
profile

Bio

Background: Dr. Blenda joined Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville in December 2016. She earned a combined BS/MS degree (Specialist Diploma) with honors (summa cum laude) in biology and English (minor in German) from the Bohdan Khmelnytsky Melitopol State Pedagogical University (Melitopol, Ukraine), a PhD in biotechnology from the Institute of Agroecology and Biotechnology (Kyiv, Ukraine), and a PhD in genetics from Clemson University (Clemson, USA). Immediately following completion of her second PhD in 2003, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Clemson University Genomics Institute for four years and then a research assistant professor in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry at Clemson University. During that period she was involved in multidisciplinary research projects developing genomic resources for several model organisms. Dr. Blenda’s next appointments were as an assistant professor and an associate professor at Erskine College, where she taught genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and medical biotechnology, as well as conducted genetic and genomic research. In 2012, together with the founding faculty she participated in the development and teaching of the first Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Medicine course at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. In 2015-2016 Dr. Blenda spent nine months on a research sabbatical as a visiting associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Sean Stowell, who is currently affiliated with Harvard Medical School. This sabbatical served as a launching pad for her current research projects, including galectin and glycomic profiling of cancers, as well as genomic and bioinformatic analysis of cancer patients' molecular and clinical data using AI and Machine Learning approaches.
Teaching Interest(s): Course Director, Foundations of Medicine 1 (2024-present).
Course Director, Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Medicine (2023).
Course Co-Director, Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Medicine (2017-2022).
Research Interest(s): Current research projects:
1. Analysis of cancer patients' molecular and clinical data using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning approaches. Collaboration with Homayoun Valafar, PhD, USC College of Engineering and Computing, and Jeffery Edenfield, MD, Prisma Health Cancer Institute.
2. Impact of cancer mutational landscape on galectin landscape. Collaboration with Michael Shtutman, PhD, USC Functional Genomics Core, College of Pharmacy, and Jeffery Edenfield, MD, Prisma Health Cancer Institute.
3. Galectin and glycomic profiling of cancers. Collaboration with Jeffery Edenfield, MD, Prisma Health Cancer Institute, and Connie Arthur, PhD, Harvard Medical School.
4. Investigation of antimicrobial properties of galectin proteins and application of glycan microarrays. Collaboration with Sean Stowell, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School.
5. Medical education research (assessment of knowledge retention and performance on course objectives by medical students; validity and reliability of student evaluations of teaching; impact of medical student research on residency match).
Honors & Awards: Outstanding Mentor Award, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, 2022
"Bench to Bedside" Faculty Research Award, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, 2021
Golden Peach Excellence in Education Award, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, 2020
Best Overall Research Poster Award, Health Sciences Center Research Showcase, Greenville Health System, April 13, 2018
Erskine College sabbatical award to participate in a research project "Innate Immunity in Fighting Molecular Mimicry" at Emory University School of Medicine, 20015 - 2016
South Carolina EPSCoR/IDeA Postdoctoral Academic Career Development (PACD) Scholarship Award (NIH grant P20 RR-016461), Clemson University, 2007-2008
Former Soviet Union Area Studies Travel Award, Clemson University, 2007-2008
Outstanding Researcher Green Card (employment-based), Clemson University, 2005
Clemson University Graduate Student Government Travel Award for the International Plant and Animal Genome-XI conference, January 2003
Wade Stackhouse Fellowship Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Plant and Animal Genetics, Clemson University, 2002-2003
Schilletter Fellowship (Horticulture Department Outstanding Graduate Student Award), Clemson University, 2001
Wade Stackhouse Fellowship Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Plant and Animal Genetics, Clemson University, 2001-2002
Schilletter Fellowship (Horticulture Department Outstanding Graduate Student Award), Clemson University, 2000
Wade Stackhouse Fellowship Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Plant and Animal Genetics, Clemson University, 2000-2001
Specialist Diploma (combined BS/MS) with Honors, summa cum laude, May 1996
Professional Affiliations: Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics - Course Director Special Interest Group
Member
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Member
International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE)
Member
Society for Glycobiology (SFG)
Member
American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)
Other - Affiliate Scientist
Association of American Medical Colleges SGEA
Member
Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE)
Member
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Member
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
Member
Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (APHMG)
Other - Medical School Course Director
An International Association for Medical Education (AMEE)
Member
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Member
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
Member

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