Kelly Turner

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Targeting the Hedgehog Pathway in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells with a Novel Combination Therapy
Xiaoyan Jiang

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I felt that it would enable me to pursue the topics in science that I am most passionate about: human genetics and disease. I had spent my undergraduate degree learning the basic principles of science, but now I want to apply that knowledge and investigate intriguing and currently unanswered scientific questions.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC because it is a world-class institute that is still near to my hometown of Victoria.


Learn more about Kelly's research

Chronic myeloid leukemia is a lethal hematological malignancy resulting from a chromosomal translocation in a hematopoietic stem cell. Efforts to combat this disease have resulted in the development of the first successful targeted cancer therapy, which has revolutionized disease management. However, primary and acquired resistance to the current therapeutic remains a significant issue, and leukemic stem cells remain insensitive to currently available drugs. To target this population of cells, I am studying the Hedgehog signaling pathway, which has recently been found to play a critical role in leukemic stem cell survival and maintenance. I hypothesize that suppression of this pathway will effectively target leukemic stem cells and provide a novel therapeutic approach to abrogate drug resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia patients.