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My research focuses on metastatic potential in triple negative breast cancer cells.

Triple negative breast cancer comprises ~12% of all breast cancer diagnoses, but is associated with a poorer short term prognosis due to the fact it doesn't respond to traditional hormonal chemotherapies. I utilize SAHA, a traditional chemotherapeutic compound, and EGCG, a green tea polyphenol, in combination in order to affect the cancer epigenome. Epigenetics focuses on heritable and reversible changes to gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. Genes that I focus on include estrogen receptor, miR-221/222, p27, and a suite of genes involved in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, which is associated with metastasis.

I also am involved in community-based participatory research through Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama and the UAB School of Nursing. This involves creating survivorship materials for local breast cancer survivors and giving talks to local communities about how to improve survivorship after a breast cancer diagnosis. My faculty mentor for this program is Dr. Karen Meneses from the School of Nursing.

My interests outside of the lab include playing piano for the Church of the Highlands Worship Team, baking (ask my lab mates), calligraphy, and all things crafty. I'm also an Elite Yelper in the Birmingham community, which means I leave preferred restaurant reviews. On Saturdays in the fall you can catch me cheering for my alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide. I basically dabble in a little bit of everything.

Faculty Advisor: Trygve Tollefsbol

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