The excitement of discovering a novel histone deacetylase as an undergraduate at Scripps College motivated Maxson to pursue a career in biological research. She completed her Ph.D. in Cell Biology at OHSU in the area of protein trafficking and processing. As a postdoc, Maxson identified new therapeutic targets in leukemia in the laboratories of Jeff Tyner, Ph.D., and Brian Druker, M.D. Notably, she discovered targetable mutations in CSF3R (the receptor for the cytokine GCSF) in the majority of patients with chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Maxson then moved to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to pursue the mentored portion of her K99 Pathway to Independence Award. Her long-term goal is to unravel the genomic and cellular defects that drive cancer cells so that we can develop better treatments for cancer patients.
In her laboratory, Maxson aims to understand how genomic changes manifest at the cell biology level to promote cancer formation and progression. Her team is particularly interested in using new tools to interrogate these changes at the single-cell level and in understanding how different gene mutations combine to produce distinct malignancies.
- Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Oregon 2011