Sarah Huang

Graduate Rotation Student

Joined Spring 2023


I am currently a first-year graduate student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology program at the University of Washington. I graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Psychology.

My journey in cancer research began when I joined Dr. Kevin Cheung’s lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center as a research technician to study the complex mechanisms underlying breast cancer metastasis. I contributed to multiple published studies and drive various projects forward. My pivotal projects encompassed exploring the regulation of nanolumina, which are confined intercellular compartments within breast cancer clusters, investigating the role of Epigen, a growth factor concentrated in nanolumina, in metastasis, and studying necrosis-mediated circulating tumor cell dissemination.

Through my extensive involvement in various research projects, I recognized that conducting high-quality wet lab experiments is only one aspect of successful research. Equally crucial is the implementation of rigorous analytical methods. As I continue my PhD, I aim to develop innovative computational tools to revolutionize our understanding of cancer progression and contribute to novel therapeutic strategies to alleviate the burden of cancer on patients and families.

In the Ha lab, my rotation project focuses on improving the accuracy of our existing gene expression prediction model from cfDNA. This involves developing a multi-head convolutional neural network model and refining gene expression predictions by shifting the model output from a binary classification (active or inactive) to a comparison of relative gene activities against healthy prostate tissue.