Austin College welcomes alumnus Dr. Kole Roybal ’05, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, as the keynote speaker at the annual Women’s Health and Cancer Forum. Roybal will present “Hacking Immune Cells to Expand Their Therapeutic Potential” on Tuesday, November 28, 4:30 p.m. in the IDEA Center on campus. A reception will follow.
Dr. Roybal received his Ph.D. in immunology from UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2013. His research is focused on synthetic and chemical biology to enhance the therapeutic potential of engineered immune cells. He also studies the safety and effectiveness of adoptive cell therapies.
Dr. Lance Barton, associate professor of biology at Austin College, began offering a course in Cancer Biology in 2014 and received support for the course from The Discovery Foundation of Dallas, Texas, in 2015. The Discovery Foundation continues to support the Women’s Health and Cancer Forum. He used data gathered by his independent research students to develop the research project and accompanying course. The course integrates novel research into the laboratory portion of the class. Students in the class (and during a summer research component) generate new cancer cell lines through mutagenesis that can be further characterized in the course. For each new cell line generated, students collect data on genetic and genomic instability, metastatic potential, and proliferative capacity, while also learning the biological mechanisms behind these phenotypes of cancer and delving deeply into the primary literature through classroom discussions.
Students from Barton’s biology lab will present research and their posters will be on display through November 30.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.