Happy Friday! With another week in the books, it’s time for another Friday Spotlight with a member of the cc-TDI team: Cora.

Cora first joined the staff as a summer intern in 2015, where she researched available resources for a brain tumor. After graduating, we were fortunate to bring Cora back as a full time Engineering Fellow to study rhabdomyosarcoma. Cora brings a personal perspective to our staff – her cousin, Kiley, was diagnosed with stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma at just 5 years old. Cora’s familial perspective of fighting cancer has been immensely valuable in the chase of making all cancers universally survivable.

Before coming to cc-TDI, Cora graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a focus on biochemical engineering. During her time at UMass, Cora led two major projects – one involving the separation of two proteins (lysozyme and bovine serum albumin) and the second focusing on various renewable energy systems. In addition to her amazing educational experience, Cora was also a member of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority for three years, in which she led a fundraiser for Princess Kiley and other children with cancer.

Cora is presently focused on the Building Blocks to a Cure project, which focuses on finding new, personalized treatments for children with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. She has currently set her sights on some immediate goals: testing the biological significance and adding more samples to the project’s dendrogram. In her own words, “We’ll be testing the biological significance by running drug screens on all of our cell lines and testing and morphological changes within the cells.”

When she’s not in the lab, Cora thoroughly enjoys backpacking and traveling to new places. Her most recent trip had her backpacking through Europe, where she spent time in Spain, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, England, and Scotland. Some of her favorite things include Taco Bell and playing with puppies.

Thank you, Cora, for making a difference every day. Your contributions make our mission possible.

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