Kaitlyn M. Alleman



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Gliomas, which are brain tumors that arise from glial cells, are some of the most aggressive and lethal types of tumors. These brain tumors are difficult to treat because not enough information regarding the mutations present in these tumors exists. This project studies effects of a p53 mutation on Drosophila glioma progression and then will test to see if this results in resistance to current chemotherapy. Drosophila are used as model organisms to mimic these processes. The current genetic crosses that have been created will be studied, and an effective p53 knockdown will be made. In essence, this will effectively mimic a human brain tumor so the treatments tested and the data collected from this model can be applied to the current understanding of human gliomas. In addition to studying just the p53 mutation, PI3K and oncogenic Ras signaling will be coactivated. This will lead to an even more accurate glioma model because multiple mutations, such as the ones added are present in human tumors as well. These genetic crosses will be treated with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors, which are currently used to treat brain cancer patients in order to find out whether or not this mutation plays a role in resistance to current therapy. The main goal of this endeavor is to investigate the numerous defects occurring at the cellular and biochemical level in gliomas, which will give insight into why these types of tumors are so difficult to treat. Data gathered from this project will lead to further inquiry into the role of p53 mutations in gliomas and hopefully, to better outcomes for those affected by this type of cancer. Here, we present the data gathered from this project thus far.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Madhuri Kango-Singh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

Investigating the Effects of a p53 Mutation on Glioma Progression and Therapy Resistance in Drosophila