Stacy Webb '10, Cancer Researcher
Owensboro Cancer Research Program
Major : Chemistry
Hometown : Dayton, Ohio
Future Plans : Pursue Ph.D. in Chemistry
I am from Dayton, Ohio.
I transferred to KWC my junior year of college after going to a state school for a year and the community college at home for a year.
I transferred to KWC because I was looking for a more intimate school setting.
Coming from a school that had 300+ students in a general physics class, I greatly appreciated the dozen or so students in the science classes at KWC.
Upon transferring, my advisor, Dr. Connor, probed and questioned my plans for the future. I knew I wanted to further my educational career in graduate school, but I was not sure if I wanted to take the research route or the teaching path.
He told me about Owensboro Cancer Research Center at the hospital.
By the summer before my senior year, I was volunteering and eventually working with Dr. Palmer at the OCRP.
At first, I was worried about doing research in a biology environment with a chemistry background, but I soon learned that I could apply many aspects of my degree and learn the biology aspect as I went along.
Dr. Palmer’s lab researches proteins that potentially inhibit HIV infection.
A plant-based approach is used to scale up protein production. The labs use tobacco plants as a host for the proteins.
This is a “green-er” approach to protein production than the commonly used E. coli approach.
I enjoy working in the OCRP. I work with several other KWC students and alumni, and I relate to them easily. Each lab is driven by the same focus – cancer research – so collaborations often occur. This provides an interactive learning environment.
Since I have been at the OCRP, I have presented research twice.
In the fall of 2009, I presented a poster at the Kentucky Academy of Sciences.
My poster included information about the process I used to express a protein, MVL, in tobacco plants and extract it for further studies.
I presented this information again at the Scholar’s Day poster presentations at KWC in the spring of 2010.
I am working at the cancer center during the year following graduation, while I apply to graduate school for Ph.D. programs. I hope to continue research and look forward to integrating more biology into the research I pursue.