Tingting Thompson
Tingting Thompson
Tingting Thompson
Helios Scholar
School: University High School
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Mentor: Winnie Liang, Ph.D.
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The Effects of Natural Compounds on H4 Neuroglioma Cells

The identification and development of novel treatment approaches for cancer continues to be a pressing area of research. While newer strategies such as immunotherapy have demonstrated efficacy in specific cancers, continued interrogation of new compounds are needed to identify potential new avenues to combat disease. Notably, over a quarter of drugs used for treating cancer are extracted from plants, and approximately one quarter of cancer drugs are modified extracts from plants. With the goal of identifying novel anti-carcinogenic compounds, we tested the effects of eighty-eight natural plant-derived compounds on H4 Neuroglioma cells. We first determined the most optimal approach for accurately measuring the cytotoxic effects of the compounds, and using a crystal violet assay, we tested the post-treatment cell viability and corresponding drug cytotoxicity of these compounds. This assay stains DNA in viable cells and thereby allows us to evaluate which compounds are more cytotoxic. Characterizing and understanding the effects of these natural compounds will allow us to determine if any may represent potential leads to enable drug discovery efforts aimed at treating brain tumors and improving outcomes for patients.