Miranda Lynch, PhD, continues cancer research at HWI

Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) has recruited seasoned quantitative research specialist Miranda Lynch, PhD, as a Staff Scientist at HWI’s High-Throughput Crystallization Screening Center.

The Center performs crystal-growth screening experiments to determine the structure of proteins using samples sent in from over 1,000 different scientific groups around the world. This type of research in structural biology, which has been advanced for more than 60 years by HWI, allows researchers to visualize proteins on a molecular level. The work provides greater understanding as to how those proteins can be used to develop pharmaceuticals and other medical therapies.

Lynch comes to HWI from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she served as an Assistant Member in the Department of Biostatistics and
Bioinformatics. In her new role at HWI, she will continue her cancer-related research in collaboration with former colleagues at Roswell.

“At HWI, one of the things I’ll be doing is continuing to work with scientists at Roswell in sarcoma, a rare cancer with several different types. They’re all characterized by very particular genetic events that result in strange functional protein forms. The resources here at HWI can look at those proteins and help the people across the street at Roswell, and around the globe, figure out how to treat people. The questions are there and the tools are here. What a quantitative scientist like me does is take things we can measure and extract information and meaning from that. At HWI, we have all this information about how proteins have crystalized under different circumstances. All of this info is captured in images, and we go in and mine those images to see what’s working, why, and how we can use that information. A lot of this is applicable to personalized medicine; it’s where cancer treatment is going.”

Before relocating to Buffalo last year, Lynch was a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Statistical Sciences Group, an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Quantitative Medicine, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard University School of Public Health in the Department of Biostatistics.