• Degree Program and Graduation Date: Molecular Medicine Graduate Program, May 2021
• Please describe your research: My research explores the role of a new cancer gene, RABL6A, in the development of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), an aggressive and deadly sarcoma in children and adults. Our goal is to better understand MPNST biology in order to identify novel therapies for these patients.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? The 5-year survival rate for MPNST patients is poor with the only known cure for MPNSTs is complete surgical resection. Unfortunately, many tumors are non-resectable due to their location (surrounding nerves) and/or large size. Additionally, there are no effective drug therapies. Our research aims to discover new, targeted therapies to treat these cancers.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I am considering a career in biomedical research in either the academic or industry setting with the hope of staying in the Midwest.
• Hometown: Millersburg, IA
• Mentor: Dr. Dawn Quelle, PhD
Banner location: Downtown—Washington Street and Gilbert Street