Harrison Parent '22

URC 2022: Targeting BCL6 in Ovarian Cancer
A photo of COLSA student Harrison Parent speaking with Dr. Maria Carlota Dao

Harrison Parent ’22 of Belmont, NH, is studying Biochemistry and Molecular/Cellular Biology at COLSA. He recently presented his research at the 2022 UNH Undergraduate Research Conference.

COLSA: What is the title of the research that you presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference?

Harrison Parent: Targeting BCL6 in Ovarian Cancer.

COLSA: Please summarize your research.

Harrison: I identified new drugs to assess the transcription factor BCL6 as a new protein target to treat metastatic ovarian cancer.

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Photo shows the sphere of ovarian cancer cells after being treated with the drug

Photo shows the sphere of an ovarian cancer cells after being treated with BCL6. The blue color outlines all the cells, and the red color shows the cells that are dead.

COLSA: What is the challenge/problem your research is looking to solve?

Harrison: Metastatic ovarian cancer, which is one of the most common and deadly gynecological malignancies in the U.S.

COLSA: What was the most interesting finding (or findings) you made during your research?

Harrison: I found that some newly identified drugs have shown promise in reducing ovarian cancer survival, as well as metastatic ability. This suggests that BCL6 may be utilized in targeted therapies to treat metastatic ovarian cancer in the future.

COLSA: How has participating in the URC benefited you?

Harrison: It really allowed me to better understand the nuances of my own research and to improve my teaching and speaking abilities when discussing complicated topics with others less familiar in the subject area.

COLSA: Who has worked with you on your research and did you receive any funding for this work?

Harrison: I worked under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Walker of UNH's Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences program. While the project and data are my own, I was also assisted throughout my research by both graduate and undergraduate members of the lab. Additionally, Center of Integrated Biomedical and Bioengineering Research-funded instruments were crucial to my research; without them, I would not have been able to obtain the data that I did.