Novel Therapeutics for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Grahpic of leukema cell surrounded by red blood cells.

Help investigate new anti-leukemia drugs that target DNA repair and autophagy at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Project is Not Currently Available

This project has reached full capacity for the current term. Please check back next semester for updates.

Project description

Our lab investigates novel therapeutics for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We conduct translational pre-clinical research on human AML cell lines and patient bone marrow samples in vitro followed by in vivo studies of human xenografts in mice. We have two main areas of ongoing research and are accepting one student on each project.

  • PARP inhibition in AML: The protein PARP is involved in the detection and repair of DNA damage. Blocking PARP prevents cells from repairing damaged DNA and induces cell death. As many chemotherapies cause DNA damage, we hypothesize that combining PARP inhibitors with currently used chemotherapies will increase the efficacy of these drugs against leukemia cells.
  • Autophagy and Hypoxia in AML: AML resides in the bone marrow which is characterized by hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions that are known to shelter leukemia cells from chemotherapy. Autophagy (auto=self, phagy=eating) is recycling process in which cells degrade their components under stressful conditions, such as hypoxia. We hypothesize that AML cells rely on autophagy to survive under hypoxia and therefore inhibiting autophagy will be able to eliminate leukemia cells in the bone marrow where currently used drugs cannot reach.

Motivated students will learn the basics of experimental design, laboratory calculations, sterile technique, and cell culture. Students will also learn many of the following in vitro & in vivo techniques based on their interest and project chosen: cell cycle, proliferation & apoptosis assays, western blotting, flow cytometry, colony formation assays, confocal microscopy, proper mouse handling, inoculation and treatment of human leukemia xenografts by injection, oral, and intravenous routes, and imaging to monitor tumor burden.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment A semester or longer
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid? In-person
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Research experience, academic credit
Who is eligible Freshmen, sophomores, juniors who have completed basic biology courses.

Project mentor

Hannah Fay

PhD Candidate

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Phone: (716) 845-3337


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center