September 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Biological Sciences Graduates Two Grad Students Over Summer


Xuan Wang, holding up sample in her white lab coat

Xuan Wang

Two Biological Sciences graduate students earned their degrees this summer.

Xuan Wang graduated with a Ph.D. The title of her thesis “Internalization of extracellular ATP by cancer cells and its functional roles in cancer drug resistance” focused on mechanisms of cancer drug resistance promoted by extracellular ATP in tumor microenvironment.

Extracellular ATP in tumors was found to be extraordinarily higher than that in normal tissues, suggesting important roles of ATP in cancer cell growth and survival. This study implicates the ATP-rich tumor micro-environment in cancer drug resistance, expands our understanding of the roles of extracellular ATP in the Warburg effect, and offers new anticancer drug resistance targets. Wang would like to become an independent researcher and devote her efforts to understanding more about cancer initiation and progression and try to find better ways to prevent and treat the disease.

Garrett Sisson, shown holding a snake

Garrett Sisson

Garrett Sisson graduated with a master’s degree. His thesis was “The Rocky Reality of Roadways and Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus): an Intersection of Spatial, Thermal, and Road Ecology.”

Sisson studied an Ohio endangered population of Timber Rattlesnakes adjacent to a recently constructed highway in the Wayne National Forest. His research evaluated the effectiveness of mitigation structures that were designed to protect rattlesnakes from the road and also evaluated how the highway changed thermal habitats—an important resource for reptiles. Sisson found that the mitigation structures weren’t successful for reptiles due to details of design and that habitats within the road corridor provided basking sites with thermal conditions selected by rattlesnakes.

Sisson’s findings were used to provide mitigation recommendations to the Ohio Department of Transportation. He works in the lab of Dr. Willem Roosenburg, Professor of Biological Sciences. Sisson will be starting a Ph.D at Colorado State University in Fall 2017, where he will study climate change impacts on mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus).

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