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Spotlight on Mark Youngblood


Mark Youngblood, MD, PhD
Resident in Neurological Surgery
Post-Doctoral Researcher, Yue Lab

What factors interested you in working with I.AIM?
I first began working in the Yue lab through a collaboration with Dr. Adam Sonabend, a neurosurgeon who studies opening of the blood-brain barrier in glioblastoma patients. We were interested in using epigenetic and single cell techniques to understand how brain endothelial cells respond to ultrasound and allow chemotherapy to reach brain tumors.

How has your experience in I.AIM changed you?
Working with other members of I.AIM has been a great experience, and has changed how I approach epigenetic experiments and integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques into data analysis.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently a resident in neurosurgery, and will complete my training over the next two years. After residency I hope to lead a translational research lab that studies brain tumors.

What projects are you currently working on or interested in?
I am interested in using epigenetic methods, such as ChIP-seq and Hi-C, to understand differences in biology between benign tumors and aggressive cancers. Ultimately I hope to use insights from these experiments to develop better therapies for brain tumor patients.

Would you like to share a publication or link to a project that you are most proud of being associated with?
My PhD work has recently been published here:

Additionally, I recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study molecular markers that predict response to chemotherapies in glioblastoma patients.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I have two kids, and live out in the suburbs of Chicago.

What advice would you give to a student wanting to get into this field of study?
I think it is critical to find good mentors who can commit time to helping you grow as a scientist and support your career goals.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
I enjoy working at the bench in Simpson Querrey, or in the operating room working with patients.