In Senior Ventures this year I will focus on connecting and comparing more common cancers, such as lung cancer and skin, to teratomas, a rare form of cancer in which cells produce tissues in parts of the body they are not often found in. For example, there are instances of teratoma tumors containing fully formed teeth and hair.
I will use case study and research to develop a backdrop to explore the genetics of cancer. As my research has developed, I have realized there is a great source of information in veterinary papers, so I will include information that pertains to other mammals. I want to use the theorized genetic component of teratomas to explain the differences and similarities between teratomas and more traditional cancers. Even when malignant, teratomas are organized in their development, in contrast to the almost randomness of most other cancers.
Through these methods, I will make a 45 minute to hour long presentation available to the student body. I hope to have incentives for students who, after the presentation, donate to the American Cancer Society. My mentors will be Dr. McDade, Dr. Toni King and Mr. Hudson.
The Senior Ventures leadership program is a year-long senior project built on a framework of leadership, innovation, and community engagement. The topic and the project design are chosen by an individual student or a pair of students, and the journey is guided by Darlington faculty as well as mentors in the community. Most projects fall into one of the following categories: Investigation, Performance, Entrepreneurship, and Outreach. Candidates are selected according to proposal quality, feasibility, and commitment.