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Zsofia P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Semmelweis University


Molecular Oncology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Pathology


I am a biologist by training recently focusing on teaching in higher education. I obtained my PhD from Semmelweis Medical University. My research focused on predictive biomarkers of cancer therapy resistance. During my PhD I spent a significant amount of time in various international research institutes and universities such as Harvard Medical School (as a visiting student), the Max-Delbruck Centrum for Molecular Medicine (as a DAAD research fellow) and the Vall d'Hebron Research Hospital (as an EACR research fellow). After my PhD I continued my academic career as a postdoc at the University of California at Davis, investigating microenvironmental impacts on cancer progression. Later I started my teaching carrier as a lecturer at UC Davis teaching Genetics and as an adjunct professor at American River College teaching General Biology.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

1. Genetic engineering and ethics:

In this project you will learn the most advanced genetic engineering and genomics technologies and their application in medicine, agriculture and forensics. You will also investigate the ethical dilemmas and future aspects of the widespread use of these techniques. As a result you can prepare a lecture on these topics. Potential questions to investigate: Who owns your DNA? What is the value of privacy in the face of criminal investigations? Is prenatal embryo selection for blue eyes eugenics or the parent’s right? What are the consequences of engineering human embryos for disease resistance? Is biohacking the democratic and empowering path for science or something very dangerous?

2. Cancer therapy resistance:

Cancer is very difficult to treat, each cancer is different and they can quickly develop resistance to various treatments. In this project you can learn about cancer treatments, drug resistance and predictive biomarkers of resistance. It's all about personalized medicine. Through data-mining you will identify potential new markers of clinical therapy resistance.

3. Tumor immunology:

Fighting against cancer is a big challenge for the immune system: how can it recognize a cancer cell to be dangerous when it's the body's own cell? The relationship between the immune system and the cancer is a very active field of oncology research and numerous promising new treatment modalities have been discovered in the recent years which are based on the activation of the immune system against the cancer. In this project you will learn about breast cancer pathology through analyzing stained tumor samples for the presence of various immune cells.

Languages I know


Teaching experience

As I was always passionate about teaching I earned an additional Master's degree above my degree in Cell Biology from Biology Education. In the most recent years I have taught Genetics, an upper level undergraduate course at UC Davis as a Lecturer and General Biology at American River College as an Adjunct Professor. I also taught high school Biology, mentored numerous undergraduate students and worked as an instructor at two different nature reserves.


Work experience

University of California at Davis (2019 - 2019)
American River College (2019 - 2019)
Adjunct Professor
University of California at Davis (2016 - 2019)
American River College (2017 - 2018)
Faculty intern


Eotvos Lorand University
BS Bachelor of Science (2010)
Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology
Eotvos Lorand University
MS Master of Science (2011)
Biology Education
Semmelweis University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2015)
Theoretical Medicine

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