My project involves investigating the role of the microenvironment on the pathogenesis and progression of the brain cancer glioblastoma. Interactions between cancer and non-cancer cells, their relationship to the surrounding extracellular matrix, and nutrient/waste gradients that are imposed by these relationships are all thought to play a pivotal role in tumorigenesis and resistance to conventional therapies. However, study of these processes have been hindered by a lack of physiologically relevant model systems. I incorporate tissue engineering techniques and modalities and current cancer models in order to mimic the perivascular niche in glioblastoma and determining the role it has in regulating disease progression.
I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for my undergraduate degree and received a B.S. in Biological Engineering with an emphasis in Biomedical Engineering. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. I also have a professional interest in the role of scientists in guiding public policy and regulation in government and plan to pursue an advisory and regulatory career path in the future.