Cancer Center Welcomes Eight Summer Research Scholars

Undergrads work alongside cancer scientists to gain first-hand research experience.
From Staff Reports Published: June 18, 2013

A group of college students this summer will have the unusual opportunity to work alongside established cancer researchers at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as part of the Summer Research Scholars Program.

The program, in its fourth year, gives students the chance to work under the mentorship of senior cancer scientists, to heighten the students' interest and better prepare them for careers in cancer research and medicine.

During the eight week program, the students will participate in a variety of research projects funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute and other sponsoring organizations. Students will also complete an independent research project and present their findings to their class and mentors at the end of the term.

“These students will learn not just about the biology of cancer but also about how scientists conduct research. This understanding will be important as they continue their careers in science and medicine,” said Dr. Danny Dhanasekaran, deputy director for Basic Research at the Stephenson Cancer Center and scientific director of the Summer Scholars Program.

While primarily focusing on laboratory cancer research, summer research scholars also have the opportunity to interact with cancer physicians and patients. Dhanasekaran said this helps the students gain a better understanding of the relationship between cancer research and care.

Since it began in 2010, the Summer Research Scholars Program has hosted more than 30 undergraduate students from universities in Oklahoma and four other states.

The program is supported by the Broken Arrow Lady Elks Auxiliary and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.


Research scholars at a glance

The 2013 Summer Research Scholars are:

Jonathan Bates, of Galesburg, Kan., Oklahoma Christian University

Brandon Burkett, of Norman, Oklahoma City University

Corinne Dinges, of Norman, University of Oklahoma

Max Lyon, of Oklahoma City, University of Central Oklahoma

Tom Pham, of Oklahoma City, OU

Vy Pham, of Broken Arrow, OU

Richard Pody, of Norman, OU

Crista Riggs, of Edmond, Ouachita Baptist University

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