Of Rising Scholars

Fall 2023

Claire will be presenting at The Symposium of Rising Scholars on Saturday, September 23rd! To attend the event and see Claire's presentation,

Go to Polygence Scholars page
Claire Loftus's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2022
Claire Loftus's profile

Claire Loftus

Mayo High SchoolClass of 2025Rochester, Minnesota


Hello! My name is Claire and my Polygence project is on applying immunotherapies to treat Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I chose to work on this project because I am interested in pediatric oncology and I wanted to learn more about upcoming treatments for ALL. After my project is complete, I would like to publish my article and potentially create my own website.


Project Portfolio

Exploring relationships among genes and other clinical variables using the cBioPortal database

Started Feb. 8, 2023

Abstract or project description

Claire wants to learn how to analyze data so that she can test various hypotheses related to cancer using the cBioPortal database. Her goal is to become adept at a few analysis techniques including running correlations, running t tests, and creating Kaplan-Meier curves. She will test hypotheses that she comes up with through literature searches. These hypotheses will be generally related to testing relationships among genes (mutations, copy number variation, expression) and other clinical variables (survival, age, biopsy results, etc). She will then choose some of her most interesting results and write up a manuscript that describes how she got these results and what they might mean. She intends to submit this manuscript to a high school journal

Project Portfolio

Immunotherapies for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Started Mar. 9, 2022

Portfolio item's cover image

Abstract or project description

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a rapidly progressing cancer in which the stem cells within the bone marrow differentiate into immature lymphocytes and proliferate from there. More specifically there is an overproduction of immature lymphocytes that in turn causes a deficiency in the other blood cell types leading patients to become immunocompromised, anemic, or thrombocytopenic. Traditionally this type of cancer has been treated with chemotherapy or radiation. Although these traditional methods may be successful most of the time, they can also come with harmful side effects, but new advanced treatments have been developed in the form of immunotherapies. Some of these latest immunotherapies include CAR-T therapy, monoclonal antibodies, allogeneic transplantation, and checkpoint inhibitor drugs which are an improvement from previous methods because they target specific regions of the body and utilize the body's immune system. Through this project I aim to provide insights into how these immunotherapies function and why they are useful for treating ALL.