Matthew Bell discovered his love of clinically-focused research as an undergraduate. His experience studying the mechanism of resistance to Ibrutinib in chronic lymphocytic leukemia inspired an interest in cancer biology and translating therapies from the lab to the clinic. This led him to the clinical research opportunities provided at St. Jude.
Bell earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in 2015 from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He was drawn to the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences because of his interest in therapies to enable the immune system to better recognize and kill tumor cells – in particular, studies of the T cell receptor repertoire and immune checkpoint blockade by St. Jude faculty members Paul Thomas, PhD and Ben Youngblood, PhD in the Department of Immunology.
Bell currently works in the lab of Stephen Gottschalk, MD in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, where he works on developing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies for pediatric solid tumors. He earned his master’s degree from the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in June 2019.
“St. Jude is an incredible institution because of the strong collaborations between basic and clinical research,” he says. “Class modules covering topics such as biological fundamentals, molecular causes of diseases, clinical and translational research, and bioinformatics have given me a deeper understanding of disease mechanisms and interacting with clinicians and patients has made me realize the need to develop novel therapies.”
Hometown: Rogers, Arkansas
Dissertation: Glypican 2-redirected T Cells for the Treatment of Neuroblastoma
Honors and Awards
- 2020 F31 Ruth L. Kirchstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award
Byrd AK., Bell MR, Raney KD. Pif1 helicase unfolding of G-quadruplex DNA is highly dependent on sequence and reaction conditions. J Biol Chem 293(46): 17792-17802, 2018.
Byrd AK, Zybailov BL, Maddukuri L, et al. Evidence That G-quadruplex DNA Accumulates in the Cytoplasm and Participates in Stress Granule Assembly in Response to Oxidative Stress. J Biol Chem 291(34): 18041-57, 2016.