Kelsey R. Hampton, PhD
Graduate Student, Department of Cancer Biology
The University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, Kansas
Throughout my graduate career, I have studied the deadly phenomenon of metastatic cancer. The poor prognosis of metastasis, however, could be improved by preventing the outgrowth or colonization of metastatic cells. My research interests involve discerning distinguishing characteristics in metastatic melanoma cells which could contribute to metastatic dormancy. The possibility of clinically inducing or maintaining metastatic cells in a dormant state is what drives me in my research. My dissertation project seeks to identify bioactive domains of a metastasis suppressor protein which maintains disseminated tumor cells in a dormant state. I hope that my work will shed light on potential diagnostic or therapeutic targets to utilize metastatic dormancy in the clinic.
While pursuing my graduate work in the field of cancer biology, I have been exposed to a number of unique experiences working with the cancer patient and survivor community. As I grow as a scientist, engaging with the patient community as well as with other researchers has become increasingly important to me. To develop my outreach skills, I joined the AMC-led Communications Committee in 2015 where I worked to develop and produce blog content for the AACR Cancer Research Catalyst. With these skills, I plan to pursue a career in the field of public policy. I plan to use my time serving on the Associate Member Council to support the broad and changing needs of the next generation of cancer researchers.