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Help Make Immune Cells More Effective in Fighting Cancer

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
120 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 25, at 12:59 AM EDT
Project Owners

Help Make Immune Cells More Effective in Fighting Cancer

The Problem:

Nausea, extreme pain and fatigue, the symptoms normally associated with cancer, are not always symptoms of cancers themselves. Oftentimes extreme discomfort associated with many cancers is due to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery, none of which guarantee complete removal of the cancer. 

Our Role:

As part of the Gemstone Honors Program, Team BASIC (Beating Acidic Surroundings Involving Cancer) is focused on improving developing treatments with the potential to permanently eradicate metastasized cancer with fewer side effects. Specifically, we are studying the effects of manipulating the acidity of the tumor’s surrounding environment (measured by extracellular pH) on the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer.

Our initial data from preliminary experiments has been promising. It suggests that increasing alkalinity may damage cancer cells and enhance the killing ability of immune cells. This indicates that manipulating the pH of the environment surrounding tumors could improve the success of immunotherapy treatments.

For more information, watch this video or visit our website

We Need YOUR Help:

We are seeking funding for our remaining in vitro studies, experiments done to form the scientific justifications that allow for further study using mouse models. The funds would be used to purchase antibodies to test the killing ability of treated immune cells, supplies for cell media and varying pH, and lab supplies such as pipette tips and cell plates. We can't do this without your help! We have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to fight against this terrible disease. 

About Us:

Team Members, Major(s); Minor(s):

  • Subul Beg, Biochemistry

  • Alice Chang, Economics and Finance; Survey Methodology

  • Ciara Egan, Biology - Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

  • Lienna Feleke-Eshete, Government & Politics; French and Arabic

  • Allen Kao, Chemical Engineering

  • James Martinson, Bioengineering

  • Saadiya Sehareen, Biology

  • Benjamin Tunick, Bioengineering

  • Julia Wainger, Biology - Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics; Public Leadership

  • Dr. Zhengguo Xiao (Mentor) - Associate Professor, Dept. Animal and Avian Sciences

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents.  Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law.  Please see your tax advisor for details.

Choose a giving level


A gift of $5 will help us purchase a small bottle of cell culture medium.


A gift of $10 will help us buy a box of gloves, a seemingly trivial, but 100% necessary lab supply!


A gift of $20 dollars will go towards purchasing a box of 200 pipette tips.


A gift of $50 will go towards purchasing a sterile filter to keep our cell culture media uncontaminated.


A gift of $100 will cover the cost of 2 hours on the flow cytometers, used to determine the killing ability of immune cells.


A gift of $500 will go towards purchasing a pH probe, critical to ensuring that our measurements of pH are accurate.


A gift of $1000 will go towards the supplies to run one trial of assessing the function of immune cells grown at various pHs.

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