Daniel Salas-Escabillas

Daniel Salas-Escabillas

Graduate Student


Daniel graduated from the University of Guam with Merit Fellowship before completing a post-bac program at the Medical university of South Carolina in 2018. During undergrad, he worked on a number of projects including looking into the effects of pesticides and herbicides on local wildlife. When he was in South Carolina he worked with Dr. Chrystal Paulos to investigate a mechanism for reducing differentiation of T cells for Adoptive T-Cell Transfer Therapy. After completing the Post-Bac program, Daniel started in the UMich Cancer Biology as a Rackham Merit Fellow in the Summer of 2018. Daniel is now working in Dr. Howard Crawford's lab and looking into the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer. Daniel is also the outreach and Diversity chair for the Association of Multicultural Scientists as well as helps with the efforts to celebrate and increase diversity.

Research Interests

Currently my research focuses on characterizing Tuft cells in the pancreas. Tuft cells are a fairly new cell type that has very little work being done with. We are still trying to understand the role that Tuft cells play in the body as well as the markers and characteristics that identify Tuft cells from the rest of the body.

Additionally, I am also focused on understanding racial disparities in pancreatic cancer. By learning more about the molecular and genetic differences, we can understand better ways to treat more specific mutations or pathways that are more prevalent in other racial/ethnic groups.


Mouse models, tissue culture, 3D organoid culture, flow cytometry, IHC, IF, Multiplex Spatial IF imaging, Laser Capture Microdissection, ATAQ-Seq, scRNA-Seq, Whole Exome Sequencing, Adoptive cell transfer therapy


SACNAS Travel scholarship National Diversity in STEM Conference, San Juan, PR (2022)

April Submission F31 NRSA Fellowship: Impact Score of 10 in the top 1% (2022)

ABRCMS Graduate student, and Postdoc Council (2022)

ABRCMS Alumni Spotlight. (2022)

American Association for Cancer Research Special Conference: Pancreatic Cancer Registration Scholarship - Henry Ford Pancreatic Cancer Center (2020-2021)

SACNAS Travel Award/Registration Award, University of Michigan and SACNAS (2019-2021)

Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop Grant, University of Michigan (2020)

Cold Spring Harbor Labs Pancreatic Cancer Workshop (2020)

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship - Honorable Mention (2020)

CIA Graduate Research Fellowship, Awarded, not accepted (2020)

Rackham Pre-Candidate Research Grant, University of Michigan (2019)

HHMI Gilliam Graduate Fellowship for Advanced Study - Nomination (2019)

National Cancer Institute T32 Training Grant Awardee, University of Michigan (2019)

American Association for the Advancement of Science Travel Award, Yale Ciancia Academy (2019)

Yale Ciencia Academy Fellowship (2018)

Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program Certificate of Completion, Medical University of South Carolina (2018)

Rackham Merit Fellowship, Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan (2018)

Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, SciMed Graduate Research Scholars - Awarded, not accepted (2018)

HIRS Fellowship, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus - Awarded, not accepted (2017)

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Fellowship, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program - Awarded, not accepted (2017)

Annual Biomedical Research Conference For Minority Students (ABRCMS) Travel award, Medical University Of South Carolina (2017)

NIH PREP Scholar, Medical University of South Carolina (2017-2018)

Blue Key Honor Society, University of Guam Chapter (2017)

Merit Scholarship, University of Guam (2013-2017)

Regent Scholar, University of Guam (2013-2017)

American Society for Microbiology Travel Award for the ABRCMS (2016)

The National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Travel Award for NIH Annual Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons Symposium (2016)

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Poster Award, University of Guam(2016)

Time Magazine's Person of the Year. (2006)


2019 Daniel J. Salas, Megan T. Hoffman, Howard C. Crawford. Tracing the Lineage of Tuft cells in Pancreatic Cancer. Poster. University of Michigan Cancer Biology PhD Program Annual Retreat. Sept 13, 2019. Maumee Bay, OH.

2018 Daniel J. Salas, and Chrystal M. Paulos. Turning back the clock on T cell differentiation via Pi3K-δ inhibition: Using Idelalisib to better improve adoptive cell transfer therapy. Oral. The Medical University of South Carolina End of the Year PREP Symposium. May 23rd, 2018. Charleston, SC

2017 Daniel J. Salas, Michelle H. Nelson, Aubrey S. Smith, Megan M. Wyatt, Hannah M. Knochelmann, Stefanie R. Bailey, Chrystal M. Paulos. More is Better: Infusing more CAL-101 treated CD8+ cells is more effective against melanoma. The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. Poster. November 1-4, 2017. Phoenix, AZ.
Abstract: http://tinyurl.com/2017ABRCMsAbstract
Poster: http://tinyurl.com/cal101moreisbetter

2016 Daniel J. Salas, Ali Shawki, and Declan McCole. The Role of the IBD-associated gene, PTPN2 in morphology of the mouse intestine. Research Integration of Teaching, Education and Sustainable Resources Seminar. Oral. November 21st, 2016. University of Guam. Mangilao, GU.

2016 Daniel J. Salas, Ali Shawki, and Declan McCole. The Role of the IBD-associated gene, PTPN2 in morphology of the mouse intestine. The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. Poster. November 3rd, 2016. Tampa, FL.
Poster: http://tinyurl.com/IBDptpn2

2016 Daniel J. Salas. Summer Research: Before, During and After. Research Integration of Teaching, Education and Sustainable Resources Seminar, University of Guam. Oral. September 14th 2016. Mangilao, GU

2016 Daniel J. Salas, Ali Shawki, and Declan McCole. The Role of the IBD-associated gene, PTPN2 in morphology of the mouse intestine. Annual NIDDK NIH STEP-UP Symposium, National Institute of Health. August 4th 2016. Bethesda, MD.干
Poster: http://tinyurl.com/IBDptpn2

2016 Daniel J. Salas, and Katherine Moots. Endemic Species of the Marianas: Golden White-eye-: Cleptornis marchei. Comparative Vertebrate Symposium for Indigenous Species, University of Guam. April 2016. Mangilao, GU

2015 Daniel J. Salas, Catherine Nguyen, Christina Nguyen, and Timothy Righetti. The Effects of Sevin on the endocrine system of Gambusia affinis. Research Integration of Teaching, Education and Sustainable Resources Seminar, University of Guam. February 16th 2016. Mangilao, GU


2022 Rosa E. Menjivar, Zeribe C. Nwosu, Wenting Du, Katelyn L. Donahue, Carlos Espinoza, Kristee Brown, Ashley Velez-Delgado, Wei Yan, Fatima Lima, Allison Bischoff, Padma Kadiyala, Daniel Salas-Escabillas, Howard Crawford, Filip Bednar, Eileen Carpenter, Yaqing Zhang, Christopher J. Halbrook, Costas A. Lyssiotis, Marina Pasca di Magliano. Arginase 1 depletion in myeloid cells decreases immune suppression and tumor formation in pancreatic cancer. eLife. Jul. 2022. Submitted

2022 Michael K. Scales, Ashley Velez-Delgado, Nina G. Steele, Hannah E. Schrader, Anna M. Stabnick, Wei Yan, Nayanna Mercado Soto, Zeribe C. Nwosu, Craig Johnson, Yaqing Zhang, Daniel J. Salas-Escabillas, Rosa E. Menjivar, H. Carlo Maurer, Kenneth P. Olive, Marina Pasca di Magliano, and Benjamin L. Allen. Combinatorial GLI activity directs myeloid infiltration and tumor growth in pancreatic cancer. PLoS Genetics. Jun. 2022. Accepted.

2020 Megan T. Hoffman, Samantha B. Kemp, Daniel J. Salas-Escabillas, Yaqing Zhang, Nina G. Steele, Stephanie The, Daniel Long, Simone Benitz, Wei Yan, Filip Bednar, Robert F. Margolskee, Marina Pasca di Magliano, Hui-Ju Wen, and Howard C. Crawford. The Gustatory Sensory G-Protein GNAT3 Suppresses Pancreatic Cancer Progression in Mice. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. Aug. 2020. In press

Diversity Ambassador

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, Individual from disadvantaged backgrounds including low SES & rural or inner-city environments, First generation college student, Graduated from a Minority Serving Institution