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2016 Astronaut Scholar Joey Wilson
Clemson University

Astronaut Scholar Joey Wilson just submitted his thesis entitled "Targeting therapy-induced senescence in lung cancer." for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Cambridge University. Joey was actively involved outside of the lab as a part of St. John's College's graduate union and rugby team, as well as playing American football for Cambridge University. Inside the lab, his research was focused on senescence, which is a non-autonomous cellular response to stress associated with aging and age-related pathologies like cancer. In cancer, modern first-line therapies induce senescence in normal and cancer cells in and around tumors. In lung cancer specifically, senescence has been implicated in every step of cancer's clinical cycle of care, including initiation, progression, metastasis, and relapse, and has also been recognized to have roles in chemotherapeutic resistance. Joey worked on developing and validating a relatively new class of drugs, known as senolytics, that target these cells. He believes that by combining senescence-inducing chemotherapies with senolytics, the short- and long-term outcomes of patients will be improved. Joey will defend his thesis in January and hopes to start to work soon - he is currently looking for a job and would love any and all advice from Astronaut Scholars on what to do next. With a wide-ranging passion in science, business, and policy, he hopes to bridge these fields and make a positive impact in whatever he does.

Astronaut Scholars


    The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) has awarded 50 scholarships to students from 36 different universities across the nation. Astronaut Scholarships are awarded to students in their junior and senior year of college studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics with the intent to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degree. Astronaut Scholars are among the best and brightest minds in STEM who show initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.

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