Ms Leandra Jackson (2018)
While an undergraduate at the University of California, Irvine I have become fascinated with understanding the relationship between human health and disease, both at the population and molecular levels. As we arrive at the precipice of breakthroughs that will revolutionize how we mobilize the forces necessary to fight disease, I want to advance that process, actively aiming to not just treat cancer but also to understand it. I plan to combine my interest in cancer and the immune system to increase knowledge of how immunotherapies leverage the body’s natural defense mechanism and spur the development of personalized combination treatments. Perhaps the most striking place to make these discoveries is at the University of Cambridge working with Dr. Klaus Okkenhaug, where I will pursue an M. Phil in Biological Sciences. This opportunity builds upon my previous experiences working in the PI3K/mTOR field toward a deeper analysis of the molecular mechanisms that promote the formation of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). I hope my research will lead to a greater understanding of the mechanisms that influence the development of cancer and elucidate possible targeted therapeutics to combat the disease. As a future physician-scientist, I’m honored to join the diverse Gates Cambridge community and to work together towards improving the lives of others.