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Virginia Borges, MD



Medical Oncology


University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


Must have completed three years of college

Positions available: 1


One area of focus of our lab is to identify differences in baseline immune system function in human breast cancer patients presenting with different stages across four of the breast cancer subtypes identified based on biologic characteristics.

Using the clinical parameters of ER/PR/Her2 neu status to identify breast cancer subtypes as Luminal A, Luminal B, Her 2 neu, and Basal, we will obtain peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with stage 0, I-II and IV breast cancers and analyze for immune cell subsets, including numbers, phenotypes and function in in vitro assays.

We will do a cross-wise comparison between the four breast cancer subtypes and clinical disease stage with degree and pathway of immune dysfunction.  The goal of the project is to identify which subsets may be most likely to benefit from targeted immunotherapy and which immune targets may be best chosen within each breast cancer subset.


Immune cell subsets from the breast cancer samples will be isolated and identified using flow cytometric assays.  Functional parameters of these subsets will be investigated as well. 

The student will; a) Learn the steps involved for obtaining human clinical samples for laboratory research, b) collect and prepare the blood samples for cellular assays,  c) perform immunostaining for the appropriate cell subsets, d) analyze and record the data in appropriate databases, and; e) interpret the results in the context of the known literature.