Trainee Corner

Fiona Ruiz (Graduate Student, Schwarz Lab)

Fiona Ruiz with her poster at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Washington, DC (April 2017)

What is your background?

From Livermore, California. Undergrad at California State University Long Beach

What led you to study at Washington University?

Leading research institution with friendly people and a collaborative work environment.

What are your future career goals?

Working in industry either designing clinical trials or analyzing clinical trial data for cancer therapeutics.

What is your project about?

My project utilizes a multiomics approach to identify variants present in pre-treatment cervical tumors that are predictive of disease recurrence after patients receive chemoradiation.

What has been the most challenging aspect of this project?

Learning bioinformatics has been both the most challenging and rewarding aspect of this project.

What are your future plans for this subject/study?

My future plans for this work is to validate some of our genomic findings in the lab and determine what the potential mechanism of radiation resistance is for the particular variants that I test.

Was there something in particular that led you to this subject of research?

In high school I lost a loved one to cancer and that really sparked my interest in cancer research and desire to work in some aspect of therapeutic development. The clinical nature of this project really aligned with my interests.

What was your experience like at the conference?

I had a great time at AACR. It was fun to listen to so many different speakers and learn about the vast diversity of cancer research that is going on. I also had a great experience presenting my poster and getting feedback from researchers both in academia and industry.

Fiona Ruiz is a member of the Schwarz Lab.