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Colette Worcester

Professional Background

I grew up along the front range of Colorado and studied Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. My undergraduate research included identifying components of the yeast endocytic protein machinery with Dr. Santiago Di Pietro and evaluating probiotic bacteria metabolism of rice bran to inhibit Salmonella with Dr. Elizabeth Ryan. Passionate about sharing science with others, I served in AmeriCorps to lead 4-H afterschool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs for a year.

Broadening my horizons, I moved to Germany to study Molecular Bioengineering as a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Program) study scholar at Technische Universität Dresden. In my master's thesis, I investigated the interaction between macrophage immune cells and breast cancer cells in bone using zebrafish larvae as a model with Dr. Franziska Knopf. Macrophages have paradoxical roles in enhancing and suppressing cancer, and the immune system may be a powerful target in therapies. Other than scientific pursuits in Europe, I visited castles including Neuschwanstein ("the Disney castle"), participated in traditional Maypole dancing, and sipped the best Belgian hot chocolate.

Returning to the US, I have seen that advancing scientific medicine requires collaboration with interdisciplinary and international efforts, and I am excited to contribute to these endeavors at KUMC. My goals are to unravel the mysteries of molecular immunology and manipulate these mechanisms to achieve therapeutic results.

Mentor: Shane Stecklein, M.D., Ph.D.; Cancer Biology

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
M.D.-Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program
Mail Stop 3062
1123 Delp Pavilion

3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, Kansas 66103