Headshot portrait of Jessica Frank - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: undeclared
Mentor: Jennifer Cochran, Bioengineering

Prodrugs—drugs that are inactive when Photo of undergraduate student Jessica Frank in the lab, using a pipette and a small plastic tray full of tubes.given to patients but become activated at specific sites within the body—offer a promising solution to the problem of treatment-induced autoimmune side effects associated with cancer immunotherapy. To test cancer immunotherapy prodrugs, it is important to design a mouse model that accurately represents how the drugs will perform in humans. Jessica’s project focuses on creating a mouse cancer cell line that expresses the human proteins involved in prodrug activation, thereby allowing the Cochran lab to test cancer immunotherapy prodrugs for both efficacy and toxicity in vivo.