Improving cancer outcomes through biobanking

Heather Nelson

Immune function plays an important role in how patients respond to cancer treatment and their quality of life after treatment.

That’s why Heather Nelson, M.P.H., Ph.D., part of the U’s public health faculty and beneficiary of Masonic support, is working to develop a biobank that will shed new light on this link.

The biobank will contain a collection of specimens obtained from patients over the course of their treatment that researchers can examine for clues about cancer development, immune function, and patient outcomes.

Nelson says her team is especially eager to use this resource.

“My research group is intensively focused on how common viral infections shape immunity and contribute to patient outcomes,” she explains. “This biobank will allow us to monitor the reemergence of infections and changes to immune cell populations during chemotherapy.”

The next big step for Nelson’s team will be to expand enrollment in the biobank study, focusing on cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. Masonic support will play a crucial role in helping them achieve this goal.


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