Auburn Family

Auburn Students Finding a Cure for Cancer

Auburn University has recently added Grammy winner and newly appointed Apple CEO to their list of graduates’ accomplishments. Will finding a cure for cancer be the next? That is what one student is working on right now as a part of her undergraduate research program.

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Ivanny Gorski, a senior from Perrysburg, Ohio, who is majoring in molecular biology and obtaining a minor in public health, is currently working with Dr. Satyanarayana Pondugula to investigate and hopefully find some answers or treatments to cure cancer in canines.

“We are working together to investigate the regulation of transcriptional activity of PXR kinesis phosphates and cofactors in liver carcinoma cells in canines,” Gorski said. “Our research will hopefully provide a good foundation for future clinical implications of cancer behaviors, treatments and answers.”

Gorski, who will graduate in the spring of 2013, spends about 10 hours a week doing research in a laboratory setting this semester and will continue to work with Dr. Pondugula on a regular basis until graduation.

“His research will be ongoing and will have different focuses depending on the results of his studies,” Gorski said.

After two months of training with Dr. Pondugula, because of the complexity of the experiments, Gorski is now earning three hours of course credit this semester but starting in the fall she will continue her research on a monetary basis.

“Dr. Pondugula has made a number of discoveries in this PXR and cancer research, but I have not worked with him long enough to make any significant breakthroughs,” Gorski said.

Gorski went through an interview process to obtain this research position along with one other student, and hopes that she will learn intricate techniques that will give her a completive edge for her future Ph D. program. She wishes to earn a Ph D. in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics, and work for a biological testing firm testing the toxicity, efficacy and regulatory compliance of medical devices.

“I hope to learn as much as I possibly can and that the results of our experiments will lead to the end of the dozens of unanswered questions about cancers and multi drug resistant proteins,” Gorski said. “Answers to these questions can bring about management medicines and cures.”

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