Alex Lee, a second-year student at the UC Davis School of Medicine, was awarded a summer fellowship by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to childhood cancer research. His mentor is Noriko Satake, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and part of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center team.
Lee has worked in Satake’s lab as a volunteer for about a year. He helped develop a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse model for a rare pediatric leukemia. His fellowship project will investigate possible new molecular targeted therapies using this PDX model.
“Alex has bench research experience and a strong drive to be a physician scientist. I am really excited to have him in my lab,” Satake said. “This award allows Alex to take the lead on a research project and will help him become a physician scientist in hematology/oncology, the field that he hopes to enter following graduation.”
Satake says Lee’s summer project is investigating the therapeutic efficacy of two RAS inhibitors in the leukemia PDX models, which Lee helped develop. If successful, Lee’s project has the potential to translate the findings quickly to patients.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation Summer Fellowship is awarded to college or medical students whose mentor works in the field of pediatric oncology and whose research plan is already in place. Recipients receive a $5,000 grant to pursue a summer project.