Evan Lusty

MSc 

lustyej@mcmaster.ca

Bachelors of Bio-medical Science, University of Guelph

905-525-9140 x22778





 

When embarking on a journey of scientific discovery it is essential to consider the ramifications your findings could have on the lives of people around the world. Therefore, contributing to a cure for cancer was a natural interest of mine as the effects of this disease on individuals with it and their families are innumerable. Furthermore, while cancer can be a debilitating disease on its own the current lack of specificity of classical cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation can translate into detrimental side effects clinically.

The Ashkar lab provides me with the opportunity to develop a highly specific cancer therapy that harnesses the natural anti-tumoral capabilities of activated natural killer (NK) cells.  With the proper cell culture techniques we can isolate NK cells from blood, activate them and use them to destroy cancerous cells through reintroduction to the patient. However, work must be done to optimize this process as tumours create unique microenvironments in the body which shut down NK cell cytotoxic capabilities and truncate NK development. Therefore, I work to delineate the requirements that must be met for an NK cell to successfully destroy cancerous cells.