UT System’s new student regent is working to reduce childhood cancer deaths

picture of Brittany Jewell with Dr. Dung-Fang Lee

UT System student regent Brittany Jewell (left) and Dung-Fang Lee, Ph.D. (Photo credit: Rob Cahill/UTHealth)

The war against cancer is personal for the Houston graduate student appointed to The University of Texas System Board of Regents by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Brittany Jewell, whose one-year term as a member of the UT System Board of Regents runs through May 31, 2019, is conducting cancer research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” said Jewell of Houston. “Since beginning my graduate studies, I have been able to focus my long-standing interest in oncology to make a difference for children affected by this debilitating disease.”

Bone cancer or osteosarcoma is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children in the United States.

Working in the laboratory of Dung-Fang Lee, Ph.D., at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Jewell is researching a rare genetic disorder that predisposes children to bone cancer. It is called Rothmund-Thomson Syndrome.

“Brittany has the qualities of a good researcher,” said Lee, a bone cancer researcher and an assistant professor of integrative biology and pharmacology at McGovern Medical School. “She is very determined.”

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