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Duke Medical Students Selected to Attend Meeting with Nobel Laureates


Duke Health News Duke Health News

DURHAM, N.C. -- Mark Chen, Amy Wisdom, and Jeffrey Smith, who are all M.D/Ph.D. candidates at Duke University School of Medicine, have been selected to attend the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in June.

The meetings have been organized since 1951 and bring together the leading scientists of the times with outstanding young scientists from all over the world. The approximately 600 young scientists attending have been nominated by their academic institutions following an internal application process. 

Chen, a Chicago native, is completing his Ph.D. thesis work with Dr. David Kirsch, studying sarcoma and radiation biology with CRISPR technology and genetically engineered mouse models. He was co-author of a study in Nature Communications last year that described genetically engineered mouse models of sarcoma that can be employed to test new therapies, imaging agents and study metastasis. 

Wisdom, from Shingle Springs, Calif., is also mentored by Kirsch in the Kirsch Lab. Wisdom's Ph.D. thesis work seeks to understand mechanisms of tumor resistance to radiation and immunotherapy and identify novel targets to improve patient responses to immunotherapy. Her research combines radiation therapy and immune checkpoint inhibition, a type of immunotherapy, to stimulate an immune attack against cancer cells.  

Jeffrey Smith, from Richland, Wash., will defend his thesis in May. A member of the Rajagopal Lab, his Ph.D. research focuses on how to design better drugs targeting chemokine receptors, which are involved in regulating many disease processes, including cancer and inflammation. He has worked with his mentors Sudarshan Rajagopal, M.D., Ph.D., and 2012 Nobel Laureate Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., to delineate new signaling pathways that are critical to immune cell movement. 

This year's Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will focus on physiology and medicine and will feature 43 Nobel Laureates. 

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