Corey Ziemba

Mentor: Dr. Lori Rice
College of Medicine
"Despite the fact that I've always been interested in medical diseases, I never fully understood the process through which treatments are created and proven. Upon reaching the University of Florida, I set out to become involved in cancer research so I could see and participate in the behind the scenes work that goes into the new innovative therapies. Through my lab work, I've had the privilege to engage in both the in vivo and in vitro work that eventually leads to clinical trials and will hopefully progress in common medicine. This knowledge of the work that goes into new drug treatments, as well as a deeper comprehension of the mechanism of effectiveness, will undoubtedly aid me as I continue to pursue my dream of working in healthcare."


Food Science and Human Nutrition



Research Interests

  • Metastatic Inhibition
  • Nanoparticles
  • Gene Therapy

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Florida Bright Futures
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholar


  • Alpha Epsilon Delta
  • Gator E.M.S.


  • UF Shands Ratiology and Othopedic Departments
  • Red Cross
  • Relay for Life

Hobbies and Interests

  • Hockey
  • Fishing
  • Running
  • Sailing

Research Description

Impact of Kathepsin L and K Enzyme Inhibition on Osteosarcoma Growth anda Metastsis

The project focuses specifically on the use Cathepsin L and K inhibition to impact the mobility and metastatic rates of Osteosarcoma. Cathepsin L and K are responsible for the natural degradation of tissue around the bone, but are over-expressed Osteosarcoma cells. The inhibitor will hopefully keep the Cathepsin from breaking down the extracellular matrix, thereby inhibiting the metastatic pathways and containing the Osteosarcoma. The purpose of the of study is to test the inhibiting ability of various drugs to limit the cell's ability to move and invade, thus disrupting the metastatic cascade. It uses both the canine Osteosarcoma cell lines POS and HMPOS and the human Osteosarcoma cell lines OS521 and OS156 to verify results, also expanding the possible usage to canine treatments since Osteosarcoma is common in dogs. Initially, each cell line is characterized using in vitro techniques including migration, invasion, Clonogenic Cell Survival, and Western Blots, allowing for a control base line to be formed. The study is then done by treating the cell lines with the Cathepsin inhibitors and exposing them to a typical hypoxic cancer microenvironment. Meanwhile, the cells are also injected into mice which are subjected to imagining scans to monitor cancer growth and movement so comparison between the control and the treated mice can be made. The data gathered throughout the project can then be used to further research and help clinicians to improve the therapeutic regimens prescribed to Osteosarcoma patients.