Elise Cai performed her dissertation research in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program under the mentorship of Dr. Slobodan Beronja at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Elise addressed the clinically and scientifically important question of why the skin lesions in individuals with neurofibromatosis and other inherited disorders of RAS signaling tolerate a surprisingly high burden of oncogenic mutations and thereby resist malignant transformation. She discovered a new protein translational mechanism regulating production of a key ubiquitin ligase, involved in protein degradation. In collaboration with Dr. Andrew Hsieh’s lab at the Hutch, she discovered similar translational regulatory pathways involved in prostate cancer. During clerkships, Elise has helped organize a project delivering home health care during the COVID-19 outbreak.