Department: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Year Entered: 2010
Lab: Patrick Paddison, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Prior Degrees: BS, University of Minnesota--Twin Cities, 2009
My current research interests are to employ functional genomic screens using RNAi to identify key genes and/or miRNAs that are involved with vascularization in glioma stem cells, specifically the glioma initiating stem cells (GISCs). In addition, I would like to explore the possibility that the change in gene expression of GISCs, in comparison to neural stem cells, promotes a tumor microenvironment conducive for angiogenesis. Thus, establishing a niche that disseminates the migration of endothelial cells and other factors to the site of the tumor formation. By learning the processes of vascularization in Glioblastoma multiforme, we can increase the potential clinical therapeutic targets in this deadly disease and possibly other cancers.
Why Molecular Medicine?
Over six years ago, my father was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. Through the midst of the terrible event, I knew I wanted to follow my passion for science and research in order to fight the disease and prevent others from having this life experience. My research during my undergraduate and graduate studies have always been conducted in the field of molecular medicine. Molecular medicine allows an investigator to study the roots of scientific problems, starting from the DNA of a cell to the phenotypic effect that occurs in the human population. I am extremely interested in molecular medicine as it provides the translation between the work at the bench and the possibility of saving many lives. Thus, preventing others from suffering with the experiences I once had to endure.
Smith AJ, Toledo CM, Wietgrefe SW, Duan L, Schacker TW, Reilly CS, Haase AT. The immunosuppressive role of IL-32 in lymphatic tissue during HIV-1 infection. J Immunol. 2011 Jun 1;186(11):6576-84. Epub 2011 Apr 27.