WHS grad on front lines of cancer research - Republic-Times | News

WHS grad on front lines of cancer research

By on May 2, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Jordan Bartlebaugh

A Waterloo High School graduate is putting her extensive education in biology to good use, joining the ongoing fight against cancer.

Jordan Bartlebaugh, the daughter of Diane Lux-Holmen and David Bartlebaugh, graduated from WHS in 2009.

She currently works for  Cedilla Therapeutics in Boston, which is a biotech startup company that just launched from Third Rock Ventures and is focused on targeting upstream aspects of native protein degradation pathways to develop new therapies for cancer.

Bartlebaugh graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri in 2013. She received her PhD last year from the biology department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At MIT, Bartlebaugh said she focused on cancer biology and studied a new mechanism of resistance to targeted cancer therapies in B-cell leukemia.

“I discovered that cancer cells can adopt new chromatin landscapes in order to switch lineages as a way to escape therapeutic pressure,” she said.

Bartlebaugh has fond memories of her high school days, and is especially thankful for those WHS teachers who built a strong educational foundation for their students.

“I specifically appreciate everything I learned from Lisa Tiedemann and Randy Halleran, who fostered my initial interests in the field of science,” she said. “Ms. Tiedemann allowed many of us Chem II students to study in her classroom countless mornings and lunches, and unbeknownst to me, began a long personal tradition of being part of a team that tackles tough scientific questions.”

Bartlebaugh is continuing that tradition by tackling one of the toughest scientific questions of all. 

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net