Friday | November 24, 2017
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Future scientist: Kea‘au High graduate among UH Cancer Center interns

Former Keaau High School student Jasmine Padamada is among 19 high school and undergraduate students conducted cancer research this summer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Cancer Center.

“The internship program characterizes the community engagement that is very important to the UH Cancer Center,” said Dr. Randall Holcombe, the center’s director. “We are able to reach out to young students across the island and help them get exposed to new research advances and cutting edge biomedical research. These students will become a part of Hawaii’s science and technology workforce.”

The interns were chosen through a highly competitive process from public and private schools throughout the state and nation. Of the 74 total applications, 19 students were selected with an average GPA of 3.77. The internship projects include focuses such as cancer prevention and control measures, cancer epidemiology, bioinformatics and basic cancer biology.

“I wanted to be a part of this internship mostly because I wanted to experience how research and medicine work together,” said Padamada, who attends UH-Manoa. “I was also interested in applying the skills that I learned during my lab classes. Ultimately, this internship is a great way for me to take in as much knowledge as I can while contributing to a new discovery.”

The internship program provides valuable research experience and exposes young people to possible careers in the life sciences. Past program interns have gone on to earn advanced degrees from top universities before returning to work in Hawaii as physicians or scientists.

Interns are placed under the guidance of faculty mentors, who help them gain research experience and complete an independent project. Interns also present their research findings to their peers and to Cancer Center faculty through a poster session.

The students receive a stipend for their work, which takes place during a two-month span. More than half of the center’s summer interns were underrepresented minority students who are interested in pursuing careers in science.

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