Davidson Catalyst: DRI 2018

DRI 2018 photo

Itzy Cuellar ’20, Davidson Research Institute 2018

From Davidson College NewsDavidson College summer research student Itzy Cuellar ’20 is attacking cancer where it spreads: how cancer cells communicate. Her results will help propel the search for potentially life-saving, carbohydrate-based cancer drugs. Cuellar’s experiments focus on finding the most efficient ways to produce glycogenin, a human enzyme that builds glycogen molecules. Glycogen, an energy-storage sugar made in our livers, can serve as a “sugar string” to trick cancer cells. In a new approach, Cuellar and others in their Davidson biology lab are looking at ways to manufacture synthetic sugar strings that normally have to be produced within living cells. Such biology outside cells could end up being the most efficient and cost-effective way to produce ingredients for recipes against cancer.

Want to have a fun and rewarding summer experience? Keep an eye out for next summer’s DRI deadlines.

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