Biochemistry Major Involved in Research for Promising Cancer Treatment

Ankur Sikder — the URECA researcher of the month for July —is a biochemistry major who does research under the mentorship of Mei Lin (Ete) Chan, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, on how vibration treatment can improve CAR-T therapy. He enjoys the collaborative atmosphere of the Chan-Rubin laboratory, which is doing exciting work on this promising cancer treatment, and he considers himself fortunate to have joined a laboratory early on that matches well with his research interests and allows him to pursue independent research projects.

Sikder reflected on what he enjoys most about the research environment: “Something that I like is that I get to really be independent. Initially when you join a lab, you are closely supervised to make sure you are doing things properly. Over time though, I was able to design my own experiments and look at the things that I wanted to do. Beyond that, I also like that it’s both a biology and an engineering lab where it’s hands-on and you get to see the things you’re working with. I think that combination is something that I really enjoy.”

Sikder participated in the 2023 Explorations in STEM summer program, which culminated with a Summer Symposium poster presentation on “The effects of LIV on CAR T-Cell exhaustion and proliferation.” He also presented research posters on his work at the Drexel Immune Modulation and Engineering Symposium in Fall 2023, with support from a URECA mini grant, and most recently at the SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference at Suffolk County Community College in April 2024. 

Read the full interview with URECA Director Karen Kernan. 

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