Vanderbilt Medical School postdoctoral fellow receives American Cancer Society grant for new breast cancer research


Claire Barnett

The Wond’ry. Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Photo by Claire Barnett)

Rachel Friedman, Campus Editor

At the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Dr. Lindsey Seldin is conducting new research on the early stages of breast cancer, funded by a grant from the American Cancer Society.

Seldin, who completed her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College and received her Ph.D. from Duke University, works in the laboratory of Dr. Ian Macara in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“My research goal is to understand why and how cells within the mammary gland begin to misbehave, become disorganized, and divide uncontrollably to form a breast tumor,” she said. “Understanding the very earliest stages of breast cancer formation may allow us to one day halt cancer development altogether.”

Her work is currently supported by a two year fellowship from the American Cancer Society. While her work began in July, October provides a timely opportunity to emphasize her work.

“Breast Cancer Awareness month is simply the perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of basic cell biology research to understand and ultimately treat and eradicate breast cancer,” she said.

Seldin became interested in this particular line of research due to personal connections to those impacted by the disease; in fact, almost everyone knows people that are affected, she said.

“Knowing my research holds the potential of making a significant difference in women’s healthcare is particularly motivating for me,” she said.

Seldin works with undergraduate students in the lab. This kind of work is a valuable opportunity for students interested in future careers in research, medicine, or technology, she said.

“We are always interested in taking on passionate undergraduates who would like to contribute to these research endeavors,” she said. “My independent research experience as an undergraduate student at Middlebury College is what solidified my determination to pursue a scientific research career.”