PhD Doctor of Philosophy
How do neighbors to cancer cells become accomplices in cancer progression?
When we think of our immune system and our microenvironment, we think of cancer cells invading the space (through dissemination). We don't often consider that they recruit other cells to help them continue to grow and divide. How are cancer cells able to influence other cells to be accomplices and disrupt the body's normal regulatory functions? The goal of this project is for students to form hypothesis on ways to target cancer cells by focusing on the environment around them, their neighboring cells, and the proteins that cancer cells may use to continue to grow. Students will conduct guided research of their own and write a report, article, or oral presentation on what we can target to treat certain cancers. By reading academic papers and having discussions, students will learn fundamental principles about cellular biology, molecular signaling, cancer progression, how to design experiments and ask critical questions, and how to creatively apply these hypotheses and experiments into real-world treatment scenarios. The proposed projects will help students feel more confident in their abilities to problem solve at a collegiate level for pre-medical or pre-graduate/laboratory research in the future.