PROVIDES Scholar in Oncohistones
Andrea Edwards, Ph.D.
Mentor: Lee Kraus, Ph.D.
City Born In: Little Rock, Ark.
City Grew Up In: White Hall, Ark.
How did you become interested in science and/or research specifically?
While pursuing nursing, I took several biology prerequisite courses. Taking these courses gave me the opportunity to be surrounded by a lot of great STEM faculty. Their support and passion for science helped me realize my own passion for science. I enjoyed my courses so much that I left the nursing program and became a biology major. After becoming a biology major, I took on numerous opportunities spanning research and medicine. After working alongside my mentor on an interesting research project and shadowing with an oncologist, I made the decision to pursue cancer research.
Tell us about your research project and its relevance to human health.
Oncohistones are simply histones that have been mutated to forms that promote cancer. My project is focused on investigating how oncohistones drive cancer and if they can serve as a therapeutic target. The Kraus lab has found that particular oncohistones lead to genomic instability. I will investigate whether or not inhibiting DNA repair mechanisms will target cancers displaying these oncohistones.
Have you received any awards or fellowships during your scientific career, including high school, undergraduate, and graduate school?
I received the Southern Regional Education Board fellowship during my graduate studies. It was a great opportunity for students interested in a dual career in teaching and research.
Why did you choose to come to UT Southwestern for graduate school?
I met Dr. Lee Kraus at the NAD Metabolism conference in Ireland. I thought his research studies were very exciting. I knew that by joining his lab I would have the chance to make great discoveries and expose myself to techniques I have never done before. Also, Dr. Kraus is very supportive. He introduced me to the UTSW PROVIDES program. The PROVIDES program has been a great resource for me as I start this new journey as a postdoc.
In your opinion, what makes your specific program one of the top in the country?
Since being at UT Southwestern as a postdoc, I have already learned so much. Everything I need is here in abundance to make great research happen. Additionally, UTSW exposes me to courses that will make me a stronger researcher. I am not only learning science but I am learning everything it takes to be successful in the long run. I'm happy to be a part of the UTSW team!
– Andrea Edwards, Ph.D., PROVIDES Program