Stephen Winston first learned about St. Jude from his grandparents. The couple donated for over 50 years and spoke so highly of the institution, the founders and the science that St. Jude had been solidified in Winston’s mind that this is what a top-tier research institution looks like.
Winston earned his bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology in 2018 from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. While completing his undergraduate degree, he focused on developing novel applications for/improving existing technology. He has held several important internships where he worked to develop a mechanism to a novel, high throughput workflow using droplet microfluidics to covalently link native heavy and light chain mRNA strands for antibody surface display libraries. He has also focused on optimizing all aspects of the Cas12a-RNA-guide ribonucleoprotein (RNP) preparation and delivery. The final product is poised to enter clinical trials for sickle cell and oncology programs.
Winston currently works in the lab of Andrew M. Davidoff, MD in the Surgery Department, where he hopes to improve various aspects of the most popular gene therapy vector, Adeno Associated Virus (AAV).
“I firmly believe that no other institution supports their students the way St. Jude does,” he says. “The personalized attention and training I have received from faculty is not something I would expect to find anywhere else. Knowing that the advancements made here will be provided to children all over the world for free, instead of with a half a million dollar price tag, makes the work that much more rewarding.”
Hometown: North Salem, New York