Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Graduate Student Research at UMBTC

The research lab and graduate and undergraduate student education has been and is a top priority for the UMBTC. The UMBTC provides an opportunity for students to learn, contribute and excel. We have been fortunate to work with bright, talented and motivated students. This year, the tradition of excellence continues. I am pleased to report that for the third year running, one of our graduate students took first place honors at the Celebration of Student Research, April 15th at NMU. And for the second time in three years, our students place 1st and 2nd.

Danny LeBert received the top prize for his research, "Investigation of an Alternative Cancer Recurrence Model and Characterization of Murine Neural Stem Cell Migratory Capabilities." This work aims to determine the mechanisms that lead to GBM recurrence. Danny will defend his Master's thesis this summer and will hopefully complete a postgraduate year in our lab.

Vanessa Thibado came in a close second with her work, "PARP-1 Inhibition as Concomitant Therapy in Resistant Glioblastoma Multiforme." This work is evaluating alternative treatment targets to render GBM more sensitive to chemotherapy. Vanessa is completing her first graduate year and will continue her work over the summer and the next academic year.

Danny and Vanessa are also very active in the Graduate Student Association at NMU. Vanessa is currently serving as President. She and Danny travelled to Lansing as Ambassadors to the 2010 Michigan Graduate Education Day. They were the only two graduate students from NMU to attend. Overall, 71 grad students from 16 Michigan universities participated. Danny and Vanessa met with Steve Lindberg, State Representative for our district and were introduced by him to the State House of Representatives.

These opportunities are made possible through the generous support of our community to the UMBTC.

On May 8th, the UMBTC is hosting its once a year fundraising event, the Hope Starts Here Challenge. We'd love for you to participate and, if possible, make a tax deductible contribution to the UMBTC so that we can continue the programs that are making a difference in the lives of our patients and families.

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