Westminster Student Wins Grant to Study Cancer Cells

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – A biology major at Westminster College has been awarded a Drinko Center Research Grant to study the effects of chemotherapy on pancreatic cancer cells.

Nina Silver, a junior at the college, is studying the effects of two chemotherapy drugs both individually and combined to determine if a combination is more effective in fighting cancerous cells than either on their own.

“We are hoping to find that the two drugs work together in such a way that the combination treatment would kill pancreatic cells that have become resistant to gemcitabine, which is a common chemotherapy drug used to treat pancreatic cancer, despite pancreatic cancer often being able to become resistant to it,” Silver said in a statement.

Silver is mentored by Karen Resendes, a biology professor at the college. Beyond the tests themselves, Silver says the professor was crucial in helping with making her time in the lab more productive.

“She taught me all of the procedures I need to know to do the research and has weekly meetings with me to discuss what needs to be done next and what our goals are,” Silver said. “She keeps me on track and is always available when I need her help.”

The Drinko Center at Westminster College supports undergraduate research through supply and travel grants. It is also responsible for organizing the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration, which showcases the collaborative work between Westminster faculty and students.

Pictured: Nina Silver, a junior at Westminster College, tests cancer cells in a lab at the college. (Image: Westminster College)

Source: Westminster College news

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.