Photo of smiling female undergraduate student Ameera Waterford.
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: undeclared
Mentor: Claudia Petritsch (Neurosurgery)

“Understanding the Effects of Targeted Drugs on Pediatric Brain Tumors”

The Petritsch Lab uses patient-derived brain tumor cells to produce patient avatars that can be used to predict a patient’s response to different drug therapies. Ameera is using 2D- and 3D-spheroid cultures to study how targeted anti-tumor drugs (predicted by computer-based analyses of RNA expression profiles) affect the tumor cells of a specific patient. These methods will be particularly useful because they allow the lab to study characteristics like cell migration and changes to the tumor microenvironment in a shorter timeframe than experiments in mice. This work will also produce dose-response curves that will contribute to the early-stage development of personalized treatment for pediatric cancer patients.