Gleevec inhibits the BCR-ABL oncogene in childhood and adult leukemias, but the drug is taken for years because “reserve cells” can lead to relapse if Gleevec treatment is stopped too early. This pilot project explores why the Gleevec-indifferent reserve cells may exist, based on unexpected preliminary data that leads to a radical new way to think of fusion oncogenes.
Why is this important?
The approach is innovative because we are incorporating students into the problem-solving process. Using students as the main communicators and researchers in the lab we are harnessing a group that is typically left out. They are also extremely motivated and have large complex social networks that allow them to reach new people in an authentic way. These relationships help raise awareness, money, and creates students that are leaders and knowledgeable in science and math.
Who will benefit?
The people impacted by this span across 2 levels:
- Those with Gleevec resistant cells will be impacted as students look for why reserve cells exist and what can be done. This is done by students working on the project and the fully funded research assistant.
- Students will be impacted as they learn about the science behind cancer and how to work in a lab.
BudgetThe money raised by this project go to fund a research associate at CC-TDI.
Students have started to work!
To help attract attention for this project students are going to create podcasts that explain and/or explore cancer.