Dr. Katherine Meng, 3L, participated in the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship's GWomen X Springboard boot camp. The two-day program provided participants with training, mentorship, and networking opportunities for female-identifying GW undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students.
The program is a partnership between the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s new GWomen initiative and Springboard Enterprises. Both GWomen and Springboard aim to empower and accelerate female innovators and entrepreneurs by connecting them with resources, networks, and skills that can transform their ideas into successful businesses.
Dr. Meng is pursuing her JD to support her company, Kancure Therapeutics, a clinically-focused start-up that targets the eradication of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to reduce tumor metastases. CTCs specifically target vital organs including the liver, spleen, and bone marrow to establish secondary tumors that are often resistant to traditional treatment. The company has developed topically applied patches, K-Patches, that attract and kill CTCs to protect against colonization of cancer cells. A series of K-Patches are currently under laboratory and pipeline development.
"As a start-up company, Kancure Therapeutics is developing cutting-edge technologies for cancer treatment. Our discoveries are original and patentable," she said. "Kancure Therapeutics brings new hope for affordable costs for cancer patients."
Dr. Meng started Kancure Therapeutics last August with three other PhD classmates. After studying cancer and stem cell biology at the University of Miami together, they created a company where they could develop cancer treatments.
"Cancer metastasis is responsible for close to 90% of cancer types," Dr. Meng said. "We wanted to find a way to manage cancer metastasis, especially when the patient is going through chemotherapy or having surgery. Our idea is to target CTCs, which are resistant to traditional treatment, and create a method that will reduce the presence of CTCs in the body."
Dr. Meng said interacting with the other entrepreneurs during the program encouraged her to keep pursuing her passion.
"Before the GWomen X Springboard program, I hadn't spoken to or interacted with many entrepreneurs. My colleagues and I have been figuring things out on our own. This program provided me with a network of phenomenal women and business guidelines for moving forward," she said. "It enabled me to contemplate how I should present myself and the ideas behind my work."
Dr. Meng received her PhD from the University of Miami, where she researched early embryonic development. She has published several peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Biomaterials and Developmental Biology. In Kancure Therapeutics, she will give legal advice for patent and copyright applications.