Jessica Chacon, PhD

Dr. Jessica Chacon is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Chacon received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso and completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, specializing in Immunology at the University of Texas Health Science Center/ M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, under the mentorship of Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi. Her Ph.D. research focused on improving the quality of the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) used in Adoptive T-cell therapy by understanding the role of 4-1BB co-stimulation during the expansion of the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). As a result of Jessica’s scientific work, she received the Fadine Jackson Roquemore Scholarship in Cancer Research award, University of Texas Health Innovation for Cancer Prevention Research Pre-doctoral Fellowship and was invited to present her research at RIKEN, Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Yokohama, Japan. Jessica’a doctoral work focused on melanoma immunology but she has transitioned to the challenge of ovarian cancer research, which she is determined to succeed in under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Powell, Jr., who followed a similar path to ovarian cancer immunology. Jessica has been a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Postdoctoral Opportunities in Research and Teaching IRACDA fellowship and the T32 Immunobiology of normal and neoplastic lymphocytes fellowship. Her current research focuses on elucidating the immune profile of bona fide tumor-reactive TILs in ovarian cancer. Jessica’s work establishes for the first time a fundamental approach by which new cancer immunotherapy trials for ovarian cancer may be rationally designed, thus resulting in a paradigm shift for ovarian cancer.

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