“My lifelong dream is to have my research make a difference for patients.”
Kristen Turner is a scientist at Boundless Bio, a biotech startup in La Jolla, California that is trying to understand and target extrachromosomal DNA.
Prior to joining Boundless Bio, Turner was a post-doctoral researcher at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Her and her colleagues found that cancer-fueling genes, or oncogenes, are more likely to occur on ecDNA than on chromosomes. These studies revealed that tumors are more diverse—or heterogeneous—when oncogenes are amplified on ecDNA instead of on chromosomes, enabling them to more rapidly achieve and maintain high levels of cancer promoting genes.
At Boundless Bio, Turner and her team envision a world in which patients with ecDNA-driven cancer have access to powerful anti-cancer therapies that improve and prolong their lives.