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Alumni at Leidos Biomedical | John-Paul Denson, M.S. ’12

Trained in the liberal arts and equipped with a Hood master’s degree in biomedical science, John-Paul Denson is doing his part in cancer research at Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

Denson works with RAS genes, which cause about 30 percent of all human cancers. The overall goal of his program is to better understand and target cancers driven by mutations in the RAS pathway.

“We have all been affected by cancer, whether personally or somebody close to us, so once I got a chance to work towards helping fight this awful disease it hooked me,” Denson said. “It’s very motivating and rewarding to even contribute a small portion to the large and amazing cancer research community.”

When Denson first joined NCI/SAIC Frederick (now Leidos Biomedical Research) he knew he wanted to take advantage of the educational assistance program.

“Hood was convenient since I lived and worked in Frederick, but its biomedical science program also had a great reputation when I asked around to my work colleagues,” he said.

The decision has helped advance his career development he said. At the time of earning his master’s, Denson’s job involved large scale expression of E. coli in bioreactors. Only a few months after taking Craig Laufer’s, Ph.D., protein purification course, he was transferred to the purification group.

“The skills and principles that I learned from Dr. Laufer helped make it a much easier transition when training and learning purification techniques here at the Frederick National Lab,” Denson said.

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