Christopher Clark

2022 McNair Scholar, Chris Clark

University of New Hampshire
McNair Scholar, 2022
Major: Biochemistry
Mentor: Dr. Sherine Elsawa
Research Title: Testing Different Treatment Methods for Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) Lymphoma to Investigate the Divide between Clinical Application and Conceptual Cancer Therapies

Within this study researchers will be investigating the divide between clinical application and conceptual treatment regarding the treatment of the rare lymphoma, Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). This will be done by examining the conceptual and clinical application of the BTK Inhibitor drug known as Ibrutinib and comparing it amongst two other BTK Inhibitor medications Acalabrutinib and Zanubrutinib. This will be tested clinically by treating WM cells with the different drugs to test which would be the most effective at treating WM Lymphoma. The data will be compared to the conceptual nature of the drug, which is how it should react to proposed treatments, by looking at how effective the inhibitory action is in WM B-cells. Results will be analyzed on the basis of cell growth, cell viability and IgM production by WM cells. If a WM cell is more active, it will remain viable and produce more IgM proteins. 

One of the other vital parts to the treatment and development of WM Lymphoma is GLI genes.  The GLI genes are essential for embryonic development and are dysregulated in many cancers. In particular, BTK inhibition has been shown to be important for WM biology. Therefore, we will examine the expression of BTK Inhibition in response to the drugs mentioned above. This is vital to cancer research as it is a very difficult form of the condition to treat with no widely accepted treatments as of now so further research into WM Lymphoma is very important to the progression of the research.

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