May 11, 2020

Pharmacology Student Spotlight

Jackee Sanchez

PhD Student, Cohen Lab
Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
Undergraduate: Biochemistry, Mount St. Mary’s University

Jackee Sanchez

PhD Student, Cohen Lab
Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
Undergraduate: Biochemistry, Mount St. Mary’s University

I am a Southern California native aka not a fan of Michigan winters! I cherish spending quality time with family, friends, and most importantly my rescue pup, Luna. She is the best companion and has been my rock throughout grad school. A couple of my favorite things to do in A2 include eating at Sava's or Isalita, exploring new trails with Luna, and doing any type of workout, especially HIIT or barre, with friends. When I have time to travel, I enjoy attending different music festivals across the country and internationally. My favorite international destination to-date is Santorini, Greece -- mainly for the picturesque sunset views, but the Mediterranean sunshine for a perfect tan is a close second.

How would you describe your research if you were at a party?
My research studies how skin cancer patients become resistant to standard treatments and new ways to overcome resistance with the goal of ultimately developing more-durable drug therapies and improving patients' quality of life.

Why is your research important?
My research is important because patients not only need effective therapeutic options but ones that are also long-lasting, increasing their chances for a better prognosis. It is crucial that during such a daunting time, patients at least have some peace of mind in knowing that their medication(s) are reliable.

Have you learned/discovered anything during your research that’s surprised you? If so, what?
I wouldn't say it surprised me, but I truly learned the value of making time for myself and not letting grad school consume me.

What do you consider your biggest challenge?
Aside from graduate school being its own feat, I'd say my biggest challenge currently is juggling dissertation writing and navigating the job search. Although, the current stay-at-home order has forced me to have dedicated time for both so there's a nice silver-lining amidst all the COVID-19 craziness.

What drives you?
Building relationships -- In my opinion, interpersonal relationships are the biggest and most effective teachers. I feel as though these valuable interactions are often overlooked and not reflected on as much as they should be. I'm truly motivated to cultivate the best interactions not only for my personal growth but to influence others and theirs as well.

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being not only a first-generation college graduate but will also be the first doctor in my immediate and extended family!

What do you plan to do with your degree?
I aspire to implement my scientific training in a role that hones in on my pharmacological expertise and passion for interpersonal relationships - ideally a medical affairs position within the pharma/biotech industry. Ultimately, I would love to integrate these skills, in addition to my interest in business strategy, into a career that contributes to the conceptualization, development, and commercialization of R&D products.

A fun or interesting fact about yourself:
I danced ballet for 13 years.