Physicians Hall Front

Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center Awards 10 Wisconsin Students $100,000 in Scholarships to Pursue Cancer Research Careers

Milwaukee, July 20, 2023 – Ten University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) students were each awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center to participate in a new undergraduate research program designed to train the next generation of cancer research scientists.

The awards reflect a partnership between the MCW Cancer Center and UWM that offers college students access to the knowledge and skills needed to explore cancer discoveries from the frontlines and pursue careers in cancer research.

Recipients of the 2023 scholarships include:

Molly Adams, Waukesha
Major: Public Health-Epidemiology

Rachel Kuehn, West Allis
Major: Biology

Lauren Banaag, Grafton
Major: Neuroscience, Psychology

Suha Malik, Franklin
Major: Neuroscience, Cell & Molecular Biology

Alexia Castillo, Brookfield
Major: Cell & Molecular Biology

Eman Muhammad, Greenfield
Major: Biomedical Sciences

Zechariah Cummings, Whitefish Bay
Major: Biology, Neuroscience

Han Nguyen, Pewaukee
Major: Neuroscience, Psychology

Chad Darnell, Crystal Lake, IL
Major: Medical Laboratory Science

Florin Saitis, Pleasant Prairie
Major: Biological Sciences

“Undergraduate students bring fresh energy to our research labs, are eager to learn, and contribute to the vast array of innovative cancer research on campus,” says program leader Michele Battle, PhD, professor of cell biology, neurobiology, and anatomy at MCW. “This program allows students to engage in research from inception to completion, providing an immersive learning experience that teaches foundational research skills and develops critical thinking.”

Scholarships were awarded following a competitive application process that required students to submit a grant proposal, just as career scientists would submit proposals for cancer research funding. The goal is to engage these 10 students in this cancer research program for the remainder of their undergraduate education at UWM.

“This is the generation that will solve the cancer puzzle. These students were chosen based on their commitment to academics and desire to deepen their knowledge in science,” said UWM Chancellor Mark A. Mone, PhD. “Through this partnership with MCW, our students have a truly unique opportunity to work alongside nationally-recognized scientists who are at the forefront of cancer research.”

MCW remains committed to making notable contributions to diversify the medical workforce and create programs that give more students access to the training and education needed to be part of paradigm-shifting science and policy changes.

“The Medical College of Wisconsin is investing in aspiring students who have the potential to push the boundaries of what is possible and advance health equity,” said MCW President and CEO John R. Raymond, Sr., MD. “As we celebrate the 130th anniversary of our founding, this academic partnership with UWM underscores how we will leverage our long-term leadership in the community to support the next generation of cancer researchers.”

This research program complements the MCW Cancer Center’s existing educational programs that span the academic spectrum from middle and high school to college and medical school through postdoctoral training, career development, and continuing medical education.

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