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Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer type in women and the leading cause of cancer-related death for women, worldwide. It is well-established that inflammation can promote cancer initiation and progression. However, exactly how inflammation effects cancer and what can be done to mitigate its effects is a current and important area of cancer research. The Delk Lab at UT Dallas has generated breast cancer cell lines that result from chronic exposure to inflammation. The Delk Lab is crowdfunding to raise money to sequence the genes that are changed in these breast cancer cell lines as a result of chronic exposure to inflammation. This genetic information will reveal how inflammation can promote breast cancer progression and reveal possible ways to mitigate it.
This project is headed by two doctoral students in the Delk Lab, Roopal Dhar and Rafah Falah. Hailing from New Delhi, India, Roopal’s inquisitive nature as a child was nurtured by her parents with trips to science fairs and natural science museums. Losing her grandfather to liver cancer inspired Roopal to become a cancer biologist and she plans to have her own cancer research lab in the future. Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, Rafah became interested in science as an undergraduate because of an inspiring science professor and she found her calling to study cancer biology after volunteering in the oncology department at a children’s hospital. With plans to become a science professor, Rafah, too, will inspire a new generation of scientists.
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