As a PhD candidate in Dr. Philip Awadalla’s lab, Cheng is studying blood biomarkers to find cancer years earlier than it is currently detected.
Nick Cheng knew early on that he wanted his research to have a clinical impact. And with his interest in genetics and how our genes shape the way we age, cancer research was a natural fit.
Cheng is applying those interests as a PhD student in Dr. Philip Awadalla’s lab, profiling blood samples for early signs of cancer. While research into blood biomarkers is common, Cheng’s research is unique in that the blood samples he is studying were taken several years before patients were diagnosed with cancer.
“What we could potentially do…is not only detect cancers that aren’t routinely screened for, but also detect them at a stage where they’re highly treatable and survival rates are significantly higher,” Cheng says.