Sunny Huang

Sunny Huang, Postdoctoral fellow, neuroscience and pharmacology

Develops safer cancer treatments

“Dr. Huang is a clinician scientist who is developing the next generation of breakthrough medical technologies to cure cancer. She is pursuing a highly innovative and creative strategy to kill cancer without harming healthy tissue. ”-Val Sheffield, professor, pediatrics-medical genetics and genomics

Hometown: Evansville, Indiana

Faculty mentor/advisor: PhD mentors: Val Sheffield, MD, PhD, professor, pediatrics-medical genetics and genomics; and Dale Abel, MD, PhD, former chair and departmental executive officer, internal medicine; Postdoc mentors: Calvin Carter, PhD, assistant professor, neuroscience and pharmacology; and Douglas Spitz, PhD, professor, radiation oncology.

What is your degree program and expected graduate date? MD, PhD, graduated May 2022.

Please describe your research: High energy electromagnetic fields are frequently used in medicine for diagnostics, for example, to image tumors, and in therapeutics, to try to kill cancer. However, these energies cause unintended damage to healthy tissue, severely impacting patient health. Our lab is focused on developing the next generation of electromagnetic medicines by first improving our understanding of the effects on our biology.

In simple terms, why does this research matter? There is a lack of effective treatments for many diseases. I am developing simpler, more efficient technologies to treat disease without causing detrimental side effects.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? Just after my first two years of medical school at the Carver College of Medicine.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Research has provided a rich opportunity to collaborate across scientific domains around the world. This has allowed me to expand my network and learn how to solve a problem from multiple perspectives, making me a more effective clinician and scientist.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? My goal as a physician-scientist is to develop the next generation of medicines that treat disease without negatively impacting patient quality of life.

Banner location: Downtown—Corner of Dubuque St. and Washington St.