Samantha Yee, a doctoral student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program, is featured under the “Names to Know” section of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) website, under the get involved section for NOCC communities for San Antonio. The San Antonio Chapter for NOCC is part of the Central Region.
Originally based in Boca Raton, Florida, but now in Dallas, the mission of the NOCC is to save lives through the prevention and cure of ovarian cancer and to improve quality of life for survivors and their caregivers. Further, the NOCC aims to educate communities and increase awareness about the symptoms of ovarian cancer as early detection is key for this disease.
“I am very thankful to have been included in the “Names to Know” section due to my involvement with the NOCC over the past couple years as a volunteer and member.”
Yee, a student in Dr. April Risinger’s lab, was featured for her involvement with the NOCC, particularly with the San Antonio Chapter. It highlights her career path as a PhD student and passion about ovarian cancer awareness and research. Yee mentioned, “Outside of the lab, I wanted to volunteer at NOCC events and interact with patients, survivors, caregivers, and the ovarian cancer community to determine areas of need in ovarian cancer spanning from prevention, diagnosis, treatment, to quality of life.” A portion of Yee’s research is aimed at identifying treatments for drug-resistant women’s cancers, particularly ovarian cancer.
In the Risinger Lab, she evaluates the pharmacological and physiological effects of a novel class of microtubule stabilizers, the taccalonolides, in both in vitro and in vivo cancer models. The taccalonolides are natural products that have superior efficacy to clinically approved microtubule targeting agents in drug-resistant tumor models, because of its covalent interaction with tubulin that promotes distinct effects on the microtubule polymer.
“My research provides the opportunity to gain more insight about ovarian and breast cancer as a disease, i.e. drug resistance mechanisms, and biomarkers. Also, my research consists of characterizing and optimizing the taccalonolides as a potential therapeutic through drug development.”