Programs recipients

Wesley Jun - 2009-2010 Bernice Goldblatt Fellow

BA in Chemistry, BS in Biological Chemisty   ·   University of Chicago

2009 - 2010 Bernice Goldblatt Fellow

I am truly thankful to the Goldblatt family for their support through the Goldblatt Fellowship program. The need for support of research in the field of cancer biology cannot be emphasized enough. Cancer, as a multi-faceted disease, requires the attention of countless scientists in order to tackle the numerous unanswered questions and obstacles impeding successful treatment and cure. This support has given me the opportunity to take part in this exciting and urgent task.

The support I received through the Goldblatt Fellowship program has not only allowed me to take part in a pressing research question, but it has allowed me to explore opportunities in further pursuing my own career in scientific research. There is no doubt that without this support I would have had a difficult time finding an equivalent experience. I have been given an opportunity that not many have seen—the opportunity to pursue research interests unhindered. I can pursue an excellent education at the University of Chicago with the future hope of establishing an independent research laboratory that can address a wider range of questions in field of cancer biology.

Currently, I am studying how the environments around ovarian cancers allow these cancers to become refractory to chemotherapy. I work with numerous in vitro and in vivo models to approach the topic of chemo resistance in novel ways. I work with primary ovarian cancer samples as well as with ovarian cancer cell lines derived from primary samples in order to address the question of chemo resistance.

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies. A major obstacle in successfully curing and treating ovarian cancer is recurrence with resistance to current therapies. The cause of chemo resistance is currently unknown. Recent studies are beginning to look beyond the ovarian cancer cells themselves to the normal non-cancerous environment that the ovarian cancers interact with. I am currently studying the interaction of ovarian cancer cells with fat cells (adipocytes) and how this may promote the acquisition of chemo resistance in ovarian cancer.