by BRIANA RAMGEET
Can you imagine working to find a cure for cancer while you’re in high school?
Members of our senior class are experimenting on MCF7 breast cancer cells here at Doane Stuart. Dr. Martin Tenniswood, from the University at Albany’s Cancer Research Center, donated the cells to Dr. David Wells, one of our Upper School science instructors. Dr. Wells was previously an Associate Professor at Yale University in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He currently teaches Advanced Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Psychology, and Bioethics. The seniors performed a cell culture experiment, treating the cells with Omega 3 fatty acids to see how that affected cell division in these cancer cells. The Omega 3 fatty acids used (DHA and EPA) are found mainly in fish and are essential fatty acids in that the body can’t produce them. After treatment, the students observed the treated cells and compared them to the un-treated cells under a microscope to see if there was any change in cell growth. Results showed that the Omega 3 fatty acids indeed slowed down the growth of the breast cancer cells, but did not appear to kill the cancer cells. This experiment provided an opportunity for our students to gain experience in lab research and open doors to potential careers in medicine, biotechnology and biology.