Fourth year chemistry student, Kate Kostenkova, has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) to participate in the agency’s Forward Conference series as a DARPA Riser. DARPA risers are up-and-coming standouts in their fields, capable of discovering and leveraging innovative opportunities for technological surprise—the heart of DARPA’s national security mission.
The conference will take place at Colorado State University in August 2022. As part of the 2022 DARPA Risers Class, she will present a poster that will be reviewed by DARPA program managers and leadership as well as university faculty.
Kate will be presenting a new class of potential anticancer compounds exploring structure activity principles of late-stage cancers and representing the next generation of intertumoral cancers. Debbie Crans, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State University, nominated Kate to be a DARPA riser and had this to say about her student, “Kate has been instrumental for the development of several classes of compounds as anti-cancer agents based on oncolytic viruses in the Crans group.” She continued, “With her exceptional organization skills and hard work she has the potential to reach the stars, and I am delighted to have been and continue to be able to nurture and support her as she continues to develop into an outstanding scientist.”
Kate is excited about this opportunity. “Being selected as a DARPA Riser means an opportunity to share my vision for innovative anticancer drug development at the national level”, she said.
This DARPA Forward Conference is expected to bring together 300-500 scientists, engineers, and other innovators from across the country, providing an excellent opportunity for Kate. “This award will help me with networking opportunities that will help me find employment after graduation”, Kate said.