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Cancer Biology Program Students

Jennifer Symonds

Year you started the UC Denver Cancer Biology Program:
Why you chose the UC Denver Cancer Biology Program:
Pathogenesis of cancer is something that truly interests me, and I felt that joining a cancer biology specific program would give me the most options in perusing  that course and expose me to the many different aspects of cancer research.
What labs you rotated in:
Dr. Chuan-Yuan Li, PhD
Jennifer Richer, PhD
Mary Reyland, PhD
What lab you joined and why:
I joined Mary Reyland's lab because of the research and the people. My background is in a type of apoptosis, and Mary's lab focuses on one of the pathways involved in apoptosis, so I was familiar with the work and the reasoning behind it. Also, since I'm a cancer biology student, Mary and I have decided that I will work on a cancer-specific project tailored to my interests in pathogenesis. All the people in the lab are very talented, creative and fun. Her lab is definitely the best environment for me.
Short description of your project:
The majority of the work published from the Reyland lab focuses on PKCdelta's role in regulating apoptosis in an in vitro model. For most in vitro models, PKCdelta appears to act as a tumor suppressor. My project is different than the other projects in Mary's lab, as I'll be focusing on PKCdelta's role in an in vivo cancer model. I'll be looking at a few different tumor models in mouse lung to tease apart how the absence PKCdelta actually protects from tumor progression, an unexpected phenotype. I  also am a member of the Clinicial Translational Sciences Institute here at UC Denver. I will be encorporating some clinical work on head and neck cancers and PKCdelta's role in the progression of those tumors into my project.
Where you attended undergraduate and what your major / minor(s) were:
University of Iowa
BS, Biomedical Engineering
What you did (if anything) between undergraduate and graduate school:
I went straight through to graduate school. Since I worked in a cancer research lab as an undergraduate, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Other school affiliated activities / clubs you are involved in:
I am a member of the Clinical Translational Sciences Institute as well as the Arrythmias, the graduate student choir.
What you like to do outside of school:
Outside of school I love to hike and enjoy living so close to the mountains. I also love cooking.
What is your favorite thing about Colorado?
The mountains and year round sunshine.

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