When Stephanie Angel competed in the Sigma Xi Research Symposium, she placed first not once, but twice.Her research on stage-four brain tumors won first place in the cellular and molecular biology division, and also first place among undergraduate competitors.
“It was really satisfying because I had worked for a year on this,” said Angel, a Toledo native and biology and pre-med student who graduated in May. “It was nice being able to present it to a scientific community who appreciates it.”
To enter the competition, Angel submitted her work as a Tumblr page with a PowerPoint presentation and YouTube video. For one week, 10 judges asked her questions about her work and she defended the research.
Her research, which lasted for about one year, was on a very invasive type of brain tumor called glioblastomas. Patients with this type of stage-four brain tumor typically live about 14 months beyond diagnosis.
Angel’s work focused on a particular protein called hGBP-1 and its involvement in resistance to standard treatments for the tumor. Her research looked at the effects of adding more of the protein, which she found did not affect the treatment.
For the next stage of the research, another student will replace Angel in the lab and investigate the effects of removing the protein. Though Angel will be attending medical school at Ohio State University this fall, she plans to return during the summers and continue the research she started.
“It was a really great accomplishment knowing that what I was doing was worth something,” she said.
Angel thanked her mentor, Dr. Deborah Vestal, UT associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, for teaching her not only the science involved in research, but how to speak like a scientist.
To see Angel’s work, visit stephmangel.tumblr.com.