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Well Said: Investigating potential cancer treatments

On this week's podcast, assistant professor Lindsey James describes how she solves medical puzzles and why she loves doing that at Carolina.

Lindsey James

Growing up, Lindsey James always loved solving problems and puzzles. She even majored in chemistry in college because it combines science with the problem-solving she liked about math.

James liked chemistry so much, she earned a doctoral degree in it from Carolina in 2010, and she’s been here ever since.

Now at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, her research into possible treatments for cancer, HIV and other diseases helps add pieces to the puzzles of these diseases. In her lab, she creates molecules that target specific proteins that are believed to play roles in the development of those diseases.

In December 2019, Pinnacle Hill, the medical innovation investment partnership between Carolina and Deerfield Management Company, awarded James with funding to continue developing better treatments for multiple myeloma, the second most prevalent blood cancer in the country.

“The Pinnacle Hill funding definitely takes everything to a new level,” James said.

This project is trying to create a compound that inhibits a specific protein that research suggests plays a significant role in the progression of a specific subtype of multiple myeloma. If she’s successful, James’ research will lead to a greater understanding of the diseases and might lead to more effective treatments.

James knows that her success might reveal more problems about the disease that need solving, but that’s what she loves about her career.

“There’s a lot of failure, but then those successes are really rewarding,” James said. “You tackle it one day at a time and solve problems.”

On today’s episode, James explains how she tackles medical problems one day at a time and why she loves doing it at Carolina.

This episode of Well Said can be heard in the player above, on SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever podcasts are played.

Join us every Wednesday for Well Said to hear from students, faculty, staff and alumni. Each week, you’ll learn what’s going on in classrooms, labs and around campus, and how it pertains to the local, national and international headlines.

Read a transcript of this episode