Abstract by Michaela McCown

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Michaela McCown

Degree Level



Hannah Boekweg

Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Ryan Kelly
Sam Payne


Tracking Cancer Evolution


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a slow progressing type of cancer. Existing datasets, as with most cancers, represent a single time point. Showing changes in the tumor cells over time will aid in distinguishing causative factors of changes in clinical status. We propose a longitudinal study of circulating CLL cells, which can uniquely be collected from a small volume blood draw. This is a much less significant procedure than the surgical removal required for most tumor types and so permits follow up. We will collect samples monthly and gather data from complete blood count assays and metabolic panels. Since CLL is often initially diagnosed with such routine blood tests, this information may improve the precision of diagnosis. Then, for each sample collected, we will isolate both cancerous and healthy B cells through immuno-fluorescence guided FACS sorting. Proteomic data will be collected through mass spectrometry, allowing detailed characterization of the tumor cells. Finally, we will expand our programs to explore and analyze the data with particular interest in identifying relevant differences in the trends over time within each cell type.