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Farwell, Mary Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Director of Undergraduate Research


Currently, I have two main areas of interest. The first is gene regulation in cancer cells, and I collaborate on two major projects. In collaboration with Dr. Brett Keiper, BSOM, we are using siRNA to change the expression of isoforms of translation initiation factors. We hypothesize that specific isoforms of eIF4G are used in highly proliferative cells, such as cancer cells, and by individual knockdown of these isoforms, we can affect the proliferation of these cells or the susceptibility of these cells to apoptotic inducers such as chemotherapeutic drugs. In addition, I have an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Baohong Zhang of Biology, who is interested in the role of microRNA in cancer treatment. We showed that green tea extract alters the expression of specific microRNA genes that are associated with breast cancer.

Additionally, I have an interest in STEM education. In collaboration with Dr. MHN Tabrizi, Department of Computer Science, we are looking at the effects of a new virtual reality software program on learning outcomes in students in STEM fields. In addition, I have a project that is looking at whether STEM activities will influence 8th grade girl’s choices to take higher leve math courses in high school.

Research Areas research areas