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Abrar C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of California San Francisco (UCSF)


Cancer biology, Bioinformatics, Genomics/Genetics, Medicine/Health, Scientific writing


I am a cancer biologist, and I obtained my PhD in biomedical sciences from UC San Francisco in Spring 2021. My thesis work focused on understanding the pathways driving brain tumors using multimodal sequencing and genomic data. Using that information, I identified and tested potential new therapies to treat these tumors, which are now being used in clinical trials to treat patients. I am currently completing medical school and am training to be a physician-scientist. I love teaching and am passionate about science communication. In high school, I was involved in a variety of science competitions and science fairs at the state and national level, and I found the best projects were those you could explain to anyone, regardless of scientific background.

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.

Identifying Cancer Drivers

In this project, you will use existing datasets and scientific papers to identify genes that may drive or cause cancer. By delving into primary scientific literature, you will suggest potential ways these genes may cause cancer and propose ways to test that hypothesis.

Genomic Analysis of Cancer

In this project, you will use transcriptomic and genomic datasets to analyze and classify cancers into biologically meaningful subgroups. Strong bioinformatic and coding background required, ideally with experience in R/Bioconductor.

Cancer Literature Review

In this project, you will perform a literature review to understand risk factors and differences in outcomes for a cancer of interest. There are many directions you could take this, depending on your interests, ranging from genetic factors to environmental exposures to inequities in healthcare access.

Coding skills

R, Python, Unix

Teaching experience

I tutored undergraduates at Princeton University in college-level math and science courses. I have also given science lectures to high school students, taught medical students how to critically analyze primary scientific literature, and led grant writing workshops for PhD candidates.



Princeton University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2016)
Molecular Biology
University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2021)
Biomedical Sciences

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