I’ve been involved with researching Pleuropulmonary Blastoma (PPB), a rare Pediatric lung cancer, and DICER1 Syndrome, a cancer predisposition syndrome, since 2006. My sister and brother were the 3rd and 10th cases of PPB, and a DICER1 mutation runs through my family, which has inspired my career trajectory and research focus. In 2006, the genetic cause of PPB was still unknown, but now we know that mutations in the microRNA processing enzyme, DICER1, causes a wide variety of tumors within DICER1 Syndrome. Understanding the downstream effects of DICER1 mutations and how they cause such a unique variety of tumors along with finding better treatment strategies is an exciting future in this field. I’m currently working on a drug screen of PPB cell lines and investigating the recent addition to DICER1 Syndrome, Anaplastic Sarcoma of the Kidney (ASK), which has been an exciting combination of my research with my clinical practice.
When I’m not in the lab/hospital
Life outside the lab changed a lot in Fall 2019 with the addition of my son, Toby. Family walks with our dog, Waffles, reading, travelling to see family in Minnesota and Nebraska, and game nights are our favorite activities. We also enjoy wearing matching outfits as we support our Minnesota Sports teams! Go Gophers, Vikings, and Twins! I’m also a big fantasy football and march madness fan :)