D&E student shows cancer research, work

ELKINS – Ryan Finnegan, a 2014 graduate of Davis & Elkins College, represented the college at Undergraduate Research Day at the state Capitol and the Chi Beta Phi National Conference. At both, he presented his research abstract on individualized cancer treatment.

Finnegan, a resident of Elkins, was chosen to participate in the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence program and interned last summer at Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University in Morgantown.

He was mentored by William Petros, PharmD, associate director for anti-cancer drug development at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. His work focused on developing a plasma test to directly measure platinum-bound metallothionein to further examine the detoxification effects metallothionein has on cisplatin, an important anticancer drug. Studying the variation of metallothionein in individuals will lead to a personalized cisplatin treatment regimen for each patient.

Undergraduate Research Day is an annual event held at the state Capitol to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of research that is being conducted by faculty and students across the state’s higher education system.

Finnegan received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from D&E in May and will further his studies in the master’s program in Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Medical University of South Carolina. This summer, Finnegan is working in the MUSC Proteomics Center assisting with cancer biomarker research. He plans to eventually enter a Ph.D. program to complete his work in cancer research.

For more information, please visit the D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.