Barbara Nelson

Graduate Student


Barbara joined the Cancer Biology Graduate Program in 2015. She earned her B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Microbiology from UMass Amherst. She worked at UMass Medical School as a technician researching immune response to influenza then a a lab manager/technician in neurobiology studying neuron migration and song development in zebra finches. Barbara joined Costas Lyssiotis’ lab where she is studying pancreatic cancer metabolism. Outside of the lab, she enjoys curling, knitting, crafts, community outreach, and volunteering at an animal shelter.

Research Interests

One of her projects focuses on the metabolic changes that are required for acinar-to-ductal metaplasia, preneoplasic lesions in the pancreas that can progress to cancer. The other project studies the GOT1 enzyme in pancreatic cancer and how metabolism is rewired in pancreatic cancer.


Cancer Bio Mentor