On November 6, 2015, two Hampden-Sydney College senior Biology majors, Travis Goodloe and Jefferson Thompson, presented research they have been conducting on melanoma progression at the annual Virginia Branch Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Richmond, VA. Working in the laboratory of Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01, Travis and Jefferson have been investigating factors that regulate melanoma growth and metastasis to regional lymph nodes. In particular, Travis developed a highly sensitive assay for detecting melanoma cells within lymph nodes draining the skin and lungs, a site to which melanomas frequently metastasize. In order to understand factors that potentially regulate melanoma growth and metastasis, Jefferson employed a CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing approach to knock out the Foxc2 gene in a mouse melanoma cell line. FOXC2 is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of other genes within a cell, and this novel melanoma cell line lacking this molecule will be a useful tool for future studies that aim to investigate how the FOXC2 protein promotes tumor growth and metastasis to regional lymph nodes, the latter of which will be studied using the assay developed by Travis. Both Travis and Jefferson plan to attend medical school.