August 17, 2018
Over the summer, second-year student Jessica Bhandari participated in the CaRES program, Cancer Research Experiences for Students, which provides summer cancer research internships. A student summer research program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and School of Public Health, CaRES is funded by a research training grant from the National Cancer Institute and has supported almost 700 students since it began in 1999. Jessica spent her 8-week internship working in the lab of Dr. Sara Cooper at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, AL.
Jessica’s summer project focused on identifying genes that contribute to resistance to platinum-based therapy in ovarian cancer. This ongoing research in Dr. Cooper’s lab will provide valuable information that can be used by clinicians to select chemotherapy regimens based on genomic profiles of tumors and can be used for further studies to develop novel therapeutic strategies that avoid or reverse resistance. Her summer research culminated in two poster presentations at UAB and HudsonAlpha on “Identification of essential genes in platinum resistant high grade serous ovarian adenocarcinoma.”
Jessica really enjoyed working as a team with everyone in the lab and getting to know many of the researchers at HudsonAlpha. She said it was a great environment that facilitated learning, problem solving, and teamwork.
“Doing my CaRES internship at HudsonAlpha gave me the opportunity to work alongside world-class scientists, participate in weekly laboratory meetings, and learn about computational biology. As a future physician, it was very valuable to see the process behind data collection and analysis. I am excited for the ability to contribute to cancer research by collaborating with institutes like HudsonAlpha in the future.” Jessica Bhandari, OMS-II
Jessica Bhandari is currently a second-year student at ACOM. She is from Fort Worth, TX and completed her BS in Genetics at Texas A&M University (class of 2017 — whoop!)