Stephanie Wu presents at Cancer Research in Progress Talk
PhD Candidate Stephanie Wu from the Benavente Lab presented at the 2nd annual Cancer Research-in-Progress Talk for the UCI Cancer Research Institute (CRI), an organized research unit at UCI comprised of 49 faculty affiliates from the UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and departments in the Schools of Biological Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, and Physical Sciences. The unit supports faculty research, organizes cancer related training, and functions as the basic sciences arm of the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer
In her presentation, “Role of UHRF1 in tumorigenesis and metastasis of osteosarcoma,” Stephanie discussed the discovery of a potential therapeutic target for osteosarcoma treatment. Osteosarcoma is the most common type of cancer that develops in the bone, and is the eighth most common form of a childhood solid tumor.
“Pediatric osteosarcoma is a highly metastatic cancer that’s currently in need of new therapeutic strategies,” says Stephanie. “Our lab has identified a potential therapeutic target that could decreases osteosarcoma metastasis and improve prognosis.”
Despite recent progress in clinical outcomes in osteosarcoma, the survival rate for osteosarcoma is just over 50%, underscoring the need to identify the molecular mechanisms responsible for disease progression and to develop more effective drugs.
Through the study of the epigenetic landscape of osteosarcoma, the Benavente Lab hopes to determine why some cell types are more susceptible to tumor formation than other cell types. The ultimate goal? To find a cure for childhood cancers.
“Being part of a research team that devotes great effort in finding a solution to better the life of sick children is my major source of motivation,” adds Stephanie. “It was a major life decision for me to choose to pursue my graduate degree in the United States. Even though work can get stressful and burdensome at times, the thought of working towards a great cause is extremely rewarding. I’m also very fortunate to be in a lab that values and encourages individual development. I’m given the freedom to explore my research interest.”
Learn more about Stephanie Wu’s research in the Benavente Lab: