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Amanda Purdy, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate

Amanda Purdy, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate
Amanda Purdy, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate works in the Immune Cell Development and Host Defense program in Dr. Kerry Campbell's laboratory.

"My first job in a laboratory was a dishwasher at the University of Minnesota," explains Amanda Purdy, PhD, postdoctoral associate in the Immune Cell Development and Host Defense program. "It was considered the worst job in the lab, but I could listen to my music extremely loud, (much to the chagrin of my coworkers), and the job allowed me to get into the lab at the ground-floor, learning basic techniques and concepts." From there, Amanda's love of science and the research field only grew.

After completing her undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Purdy went on to attain her PhD at the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying DNA damage checkpoints in fruit flies. After her schooling, finding a place of work that would marry her interests in genetic diseases and her desire to make an impact on something that is medically relevant led her to Fox Chase Cancer Center.

"I think something really powerful about this place, for me, is that every day I work with concepts important to my research, but obscure relative to someone's health. And then I walk through the hospital here at Fox Chase and see the progression of the research translating to actual medicine, seeing people affected by it on a daily basis. It's definitely an inspiration," Purdy says.

Currently Amanda is researching Natural Killer cells, the immune cells that roam one's body looking for virus-infected or cancerous cells to attach to and subsequently destroy. "We are studying ways to downplay the inhibitory pathways in Natural Killer cells as a way to enhance their "seek and destroy" activity, while making sure they behave normally within the rest of the body."

Outside of the laboratory, Dr. Purdy is a skilled snowboarder and actually looks forward to the snowy weather in Philadelphia. "I love it. I get my snow pants, my snow shoes - I'm ready to go."