Lindsey Backman

Lindsey Backman
Mentor: Dr. Kevin Brown
College of Medicine
 
"From the moment I arrived on UF's campus as a freshman, I knew that I wanted to become involved with cancer research. Throughout high school, I witnessed several loved ones battle cancer, and these experiences inspired me to learn more about this detrimental disease that affects the lives of so many people worldwide. Having always been intrigued by the sciences and medicine, I was especially fascinated by the field of cancer biology. During the fall of my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to receive a position working in Dr. Kevin Brown's lab, focusing on the protein kinase ATM and its role in mammary gland function and tumorigenesis. My experiences in Dr. Brown's lab and participation in both the HHMI Science for Life and University Scholars programs have offered me invaluable insight into how passionate I truly am about biochemistry, while undoubtedly preparing me for graduate school and a future career in medical research."

Major

Chemistry; Classics

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Cancer Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • HHMI Science for Life Intramural Award

Organizations

  • Alpha Phi Omega Co-Ed Service Fraternity
  • Floridance
  • Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society

Volunteer

  • Alachua County Humane Society
  • HarborChase Senior Care
  • Keep Alachua County Beautiful

Hobbies and Interests

  • Dance
  • Reading
  • Hiking
  • Cooking

Research Description

Understanding the Activation of NRP1 and NRP2 through the NF-kB Pathway
Neuropilins 1 and 2 (NRP1 and NRP2) are integral membrane co-receptors to a tyrosine kinase receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and semaphorins. NRP1 and NRP2 both play vital roles in angiogenesis. Furthermore, because NRP1 and NRP2 promote the development of blood vessels, they also play a major role in cancer development and metastasis. Since the mechanism behind activation of NRP1 and NRP2 currently remains unknown, my project focuses on identifying this pathway. It is hypothesized in my project, based on preliminary microarray and quantitative PCR data, that NRP1 and NRP2 are under the control of the NF-kB pathway, induced by ATM-mediated response to DNA damage, in breast cancer cell lines. My hypothesis will be tested through experimental techniques such as quantitative PCR, Western Blot, and tissue culture.