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Sierra Collins, PhD


Sierra Collins, PhD, focuses on T cell response to disease in the context of cancer immunotherapy. As a Parker Scholar during her tenure as a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Collins identified and functionally characterized epigenetic regulators of T cell memory differentiation, using large-scale genomics approaches as well as biochemical and cellular assays performed in human CAR T cells. She examined transcription factors that regulate the fine line between T cell memory and T cell exhaustion, with the goal of optimizing the balance between these populations in immunotherapy. As an undergraduate at Williams College, Dr. Collins worked with Dr. Benjamin Carone to study fundamental epigenetic mechanisms in yeast. Sierra has a passion for precision medicines, including immunotherapy, and hopes to use her basic science background to advance cancer therapeutics.

Education & Training

  • 2023: University of Pennsylvania, PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • 2016: Williams College, BA, Biology

Awards & Honors

  • 2019: Parker Scholar, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
  • 2016: BA awarded Cum Laude, Highest honors for Biology thesis
  • 2015: Summer Scholars travel award, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research