Boston Latin School
Boston, MA

Andrew Guirguis
Cancer Program 

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer that rapidly progresses in humans due to abnormal growth of immature myeloid cells in the bone marrow.  The generation of an in-vitro myeloid leukemia model system would provide a useful tool to more accurately study the impact of targeting key mutations in AML. Michelle’s goal was to generate and characterize an in-vitro leukemia cell line using overexpression of HoxB8 to immortalize primary myeloid cells.  She characterized how these cells behaved in different media conditions by monitoring their differentiation using flow cytometry, as well as their sensitivity to different known myeloid drugs.  After these characterization studies, Michelle started introducing recurrent AML mutations into this cell line to test which combination of mutations is necessary to create an in-vitro AML cell line model.
"My favorite part about working at the Broad is being able to talk to the top researchers in the world and get their perspective on the big problems being tackled in the world of science today. I loved experiencing the collaborative lab environment and being able to learn so many new things every day," said Michelle. Her summer experience has shaped what she wants to study in college, where she hopes to pursue more research opportunities.