FOX31’s Nicole Fierro took a trip to St. Jude’s campus in Memphis to learn about the lifesaving impacts these ticket sales help fund.
On St. Jude’s campus, there are scientists, doctors and patients from all over the world. Dr. Marybeth Lupo, a Colorado native, traded the mountains for microscopes in the heart of Memphis back in 2017.
“I grew up in Littleton, just outside of Denver, went to college in Boulder, went to grad school in Aurora at Anschutz,” Lupo said.
Lupo earned her Ph.D. in cancer biology from the University of Colorado Anschutz and her undergraduate degree in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Her purpose at St. Jude revealed itself right away on her first visit during a graduate student symposium.
“When we were taking a tour, I saw a patient in a red wagon and she was maybe one and a half,” Lupo said. “She looked at me and she waved, and that was it. I knew I had to come here.”
Lupo works in St. Jude’s Department of Developmental Neurobiology on a number of different projects.
“My main one is sort of trying to understand why some cells are vulnerable to becoming cancer, why some cells are vulnerable to therapies and other cells are resistant. And in order to do that, I use a very fancy microscope,” Lupo said. “We have some microscopes that are being built that are only in a handful of other places and having the access to be able to use that technology means that I can do the right experiment to answer my question, and I can actually get to the truth at the bottom of it.”
The answers Lupo and her team in the lab are looking for have the potential to save more children’s lives. She thanks donors from her home state and around the world for helping fund the opportunity.
“Here you just look up and you’re reminded of why we’re here,” Lupo said. “We can’t do anything that we do here without support from everybody and from donors.”