Elizabeth Borden

Graduate School
College of Medicine – Phoenix
Year Entered Program: 
Degrees Received: 

B.S. in Chemistry from Seattle Pacific University

Thesis Advisor: 
Karen Hastings, MD PhD
About Me: 

I was raised in Flagstaff Arizona and attended Seattle Pacific University for my undergraduate training. My first research experience was in computational chemistry in the lab of Dr. Daniel Schofield where I focused on simulating infrared spectra for solvated systems. Becoming a doctor has been a long-term dream of mine, but my experiences in undergraduate research gave me a passion and love for scientific inquiry. I briefly considered pursuing a Ph.D. in computational chemistry, but my ongoing volunteer work at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle Washington continued to remind me of my love for patient care. I eventually realized that I thrived with the combination of science and clinical work and chose to apply to the dual-degree program. After matriculating into the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, I started working with Dr. Karen Hastings in collaboration with my co-mentors Dr. Kenneth Buetow and Dr. Melissa Wilson. My work focuses on computational approaches to exploring the immune response to cancer. I study the neoantigen profiles of different cancers and how they influence cancer progression and response to immunotherapy.

Outside of school, my hobbies include reading, board games, hiking, running, and spending time with my husband and kids.  

Honors & Awards: 
  • 2022 University of Arizona Cancer Center Training Oncology Physician Scientists Award
  • 2021 Thermo Fisher Trainee Achievement Award, American Association of Immunologists
  • 2021 Melanoma Research Foundation Medical Student Award
  • 2018 President's citation for one graduating senior who exemplifies the mission and vision of Seattle Pacific University and is among those with the highest academic standing in her class
  • 2018 Award for outstanding achievement in physical chemistry
  • 2017 Burton Dietzman scholarship for the top student majoring in chemistry
  • 2016 Paul Lepse award for outstanding achievement in organic chemistry
Selected Publications: 
  1. Borden ES, Buetow KH, LaFleur BJ, Wilson MA, Hastings KT. NeoScore integrates characteristics of the neoantigen:MHC class I interaction and expression to accurately prioritize immunogenic neoantigens. Journal of Immunology. 2022:208 (7): 1813-1827.
  2. Borden ES, Buetow KH, Wilson MA, Hastings KT. Cancer Neoantigens: Challenges and Future Directions for Prediction, Prioritization, and Validation. Frontiers in Oncology. 2022:12:836821.
  3. Adams AC, Borden ES, Macy AM, Thomson N, Cui H, Gimbel M, Wilson MA, Buetow KH, Roe DJ, DiCaudo DJ, Homsi J, Hastings KT. High GILT expression is associated with improved survival in metastatic melanoma patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibition. Cancers. 2022: 14 (9): 2200.
  4. Borden ES, Adams AC, Kenneth HB, Wilson MA, Bauman JE, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Chow, H-HS., LaFleur BJ, Hastings, KT. Shared gene expression and immune pathway changes associated with progression from nevi to melanoma. Cancers. 2021: 14 (1): 3.
  5. Borden ES, Kang P, Natri HM, Phung TN, Wilson MA, Buetow KH, Hastings KT. Neoantigen fitness model predicts lower immune recognition of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas than actinic keratoses. Frontiers in Immunology. 2019: 10: 2799.