Castleman Disease: A Collection, Analysis, and Interpretation of Clinical Datasets from Flow Cytometry

Steven and research team

Students

2019
College

Faculty

Professor of Medicine

Project Summary

This summer I was selected to work with Professor Vera Krymskaya on the project titled “Assist with Collection, Analysis and Interpretation of Clinical Datasets from Flow Cytometry.” This project got me involved with the Castleman Research Team at Penn who I worked with for the entirety of the summer over at HUP. My main task was to analyze medical records of consenting Castleman patients and collect flow cytometry information. This flow cytometry data would allow researchers to confirm the hypothesis that an abnormal expansion of lymph node cell populations is driving Castleman disease. I recorded the information I found within the records in accessible spreadsheets for each patient in the online registry, totaling around 50 patients and thousands of pages of medical records. With this flow cytometry information, I analyzed the similarities and differences between patients and ran statistical analysis on the collected data to find any trends within the disease. Throughout the summer, I learned about the research process including how to properly conduct research and handle sensitive patient information. Weekly meetings about the biology behind the disease, plans of action for continuing research and patient support, and how to analyze medical records taught me a lot about the medical field and Castleman disease specifically. As a BIBB major on a premed track, it was important for me to get involved in this research not only to help in the fight against Castleman disease, but to also experience working with other people, discover if research is a possible career field, and learn as much as I can.