2018 STEM Scholarship Award Winner

I am beginning my senior year at The University of Arizona majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minoring in Physiology. I have always been passionate about and have excelled at math and science. My senior year of high school is when I found out exactly what I wanted to do with that knowledge. In November of 2011, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and passed away from it in March of 2014. I decided to take this event and turn it into something positive. From that point forward, I became very passionate about a career in cancer research. I wanted to help other people going though the same situation because I knew firsthand how one person having cancer can affect hundreds of people. I worked in a biotechnology lab my first two years of college, where I learned basic laboratory techniques. For the past year and a half I have been working at the Arizona Cancer Center researching how epigenetic changes to our cells can cause cancer. I am able to take the skills and lessons from my classes and apply them to solve the questions at hand. My current project is looking at various cell lines using a molecular approach to determine the function of a lncRNA in several cell types. I recently got accepted to a Master's program at The University of Arizona in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I will continue my research in the same lab and present a thesis on my work in May of 2019. I am very grateful to receive this scholarship and I know it will help me be one step closer to graduating college and reaching my goals.