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Cancer Biology Program Students

Year you started the UC Denver Cancer Biology Program: 

Fall 2008

Why you chose the UC Denver Cancer Biology Program:

I was interested in a Cancer Biology specific program and saw that the faculty in the UC Denver Cancer Biology Program had diverse areas of expertise in the field.  I also wanted a program that was research oriented with faculty members that are involved in helping students succeed. A major bonus was that I didn't have to leave beautiful Colorado!

What labs you rotated in:

Jennifer Richer, PhD

Lynn Heasley, PhD

Xiao-Jing Wang, MD, PhD

What lab you joined and why:

I came into graduate school without much lab research experience, and therefore a main criteria I had for choosing a lab was based on the individual help I could get.  I joined Lynn Heasley's lab because I knew that I would get the attention that I needed to succeed.  Lynn is always available to help, and the other lab members make the lab environment fun and enjoyable.  Throughout my first year, I became exceedingly more interested in cancer cell signaling and how signaling pathways become modified in cancer cells.  Lynn's work on Tyrosine Kinases fulfilled this interest. Additionally, head and neck cancer hits close to home for me, and Lynn's new project in this area was another perk.

Short description of your project:

The Healsey lab is interested in the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors and their role in an autocrine-signaling loop in Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) cells and in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) cells. My current project is to characterize the FGFR1 and FGFR2 isoform status in NSCLC and HNSCC cell lines.

Where you attended undergraduate and what your major / minor(s) were:

University of Colorado, Boulder ;
Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology (MCDB)

What you did (if anything) between undergraduate and graduate school:

I went straight into graduate school

What you like to do outside of school:

I like to be outside enjoying Colorado's distinct seasons: hiking, camping, bike riding in the summer, and skiing in the winter.  I also enjoy cooking, knitting and reading.

What is your favorite thing about Colorado:

I have lived in Colorado my whole life, and I would say that my favorite things are the weather and the mountains.