On Thursday, May 24, three Hampden-Sydney students working in the laboratory of Elliott Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01 delivered oral presentations of their melanoma research. Corey Williams ’19, Coleman Johnson ’19, and recently named Goldwater Scholar David Bushhouse ’19 presented their work on the role of FOXC2 in melanoma progression. While Coleman has been investigating how FOXC2 regulates melanoma cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix and lymphatic endothelial cells, Corey has been studying how FOXC2 influences the expression of integrins and other cell adhesion molecules involved in these processes. In related work, David Bushhouse has been optimizing a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay for identifying target genes directly regulated by the FOXC2 transcription factor. Coleman and Corey have already been accepted to medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University, and David will be applying to graduate schools to pursue his Ph.D.
Also at this conference, Dr. Hargadon presented his work on the ways he is introducing his cancer research into the classroom as a means of exposing more students to the research process and as a tool for enabling students to investigate and better understand the process of gene expression.