Brian Ault
Brian Ault
Teaching Assistant for Molecular Biology, Cell Culture, and Methods in Genetics

Room:FB 307


Ball State University- B.S., Pre-medicine/Biology major, Chemistry minor, 2022
Ball State University- M.S., Biology, 2024


In Dr. Olesen's research lab, I investigate the Jurkat cell line in order to uncover prognostic markers and effective treatment targets to improve chemosensitivity and survival rates in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive cancer driven by malignant expansion and transformation of T-cell progenitors, from T-cell committed lymphoblasts, with a diffuse invasion of bone marrow and peripheral blood. Current treatment of T-ALL consists of high-intensity combination chemotherapy which comes with significant short-term and long-term side effects, including relapse in up to 20% of pediatric and 40% of adult cases. Ectopic expression of transcription factors, such as TAL1 alone, can be an initiating step in T-ALL development, but additional mutations are required to fully transform normal T-cells into leukemia cells. With this, the goal of this research is to improve existing treatment strategies by utilizing siRNA to knock down the expression of key players that are thought to result in chemotherapy resistance. In the end, new, undefined key players in T-ALL may be identified and targeted as a way to improve prognosis and treatment.

What's Next

After completing my M.S. degree, I will apply to Ph.D. programs.