100 high school students from across the U.S. awarded for their passionate essays detailing the need to find a cure for cancer
Recipients of awards made possible by grants from Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis
ARLINGTON, VA; May 17, 2017 – One hundred high school students from 29 states have been named winners in the second year of PBS LearningMedia’s and Stand Up To Cancer’s Emperor Science Award program. The Emperor Science Award program is an initiative designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in science, specifically cancer research and care, through a unique mentoring opportunity.
PBS LearningMedia, a digital educational resource library for teachers and students, and Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, received nearly 800 applications from eligible 10th and 11th grade students in 44 states throughout the U.S. who are interested in pursuing a career in science research. Prominent scientists served as judges and evaluated the students’ applications: written essays submitted online January 10 through March 17, addressing why scientific research is so important in finding a cure for cancer, what scientific field they would study and why. Two of the Awardees are students receiving support for a second year of mentorship, as allowed by the program.
“After an amazing inaugural year, we are proud to welcome a new class of students to the Emperor Science Award mentorship program,” said Sara Schapiro, Vice President, PBS Education. “The students selected for this year’s class are leaders in their schools and communities and it is our hope that through this unique opportunity they are able to tangibly explore careers in cancer research. I wish to personally congratulate them on all they have already accomplished and am looking forward to their future success.”
The 100 Emperor Science Award recipients will have an opportunity to conduct research in a lab, virtually, or a combination of both, working with an esteemed scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project, will receive a Google Chrome computer to enhance their studies and to facilitate mentor access for those students who live at a distance from their mentor’s research facility, and a $1,500 stipend for expenses. Those entering the program for the first year will also have the opportunity to apply for a second year.
The Emperor Science Award Program extends the learning and outreach for the PBS documentary, Ken Burns Presents CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES A Film by Barak Goodman.
“It is so exciting to see in these applications the passion, interest and commitment of these students to pursue cancer research,” said Sherry Lansing, co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer, and chairperson of the committee of documentary production supporters which conceived of the Emperor Science Award Program. “We hope that giving these students this opportunity and support may strengthen their resolve and hone their interest so that they might possibly become the next generation of researchers who will help more cancer patients become long-term survivors. Cancer affects one in two men, one in three women in the United States, and too many of these students had already experienced cancer in their families and communities and a few are cancer survivors themselves.”
Students from rural, suburban and urban communities in 29 states comprise the second class of Emperor Science Awardees. These students demonstrated awareness of emerging developments in cancer treatment, including precision medicine, immunotherapy and epigenetics, and have an impressive range of research focuses and interests, including nanotechnology and engineering, basic cellular biology, gene mapping, bioinformatics, DNA splicing and computational sciences.
The Emperor Science Award Program has been made possible by generous financial support from Founding Donors Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Novartis. Their support will fund a total of 300 awards through the first three years.
“We are inspired by this year’s scholarship winners and proud to support their interest in science,” said Ann Lee-Karlon, senior vice president, Portfolio Management and Operations at Genentech. “We believe in the power of mentoring and the value of human connections. Mentoring relationships provide students with insight and encouragement, opening doors to a wide range of future careers.”
“Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Emperor Science Award,” said Awny Farajallah, MD, vice president, head of U.S. Medical Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This competitive program is unique in encouraging and enabling bright, young students to further cultivate their interests in science and cancer research. We’re hopeful that many students will be inspired to explore careers to help improve care for people living with cancer.”
“It is an honor to continue our support of the Emperor Science Awards,” said Bill Hinshaw, Executive Vice President and Head, US Novartis Oncology. “It is our hope that science-based mentorship programs like this will inspire our youth to become the scientists of our future.”
About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. Noreen Fraser and the late Laura Ziskin are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president since 2011.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit www.standup2cancer.org.
About PBS LearningMedia
As America’s largest classroom, PBS offers digital content and services for teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a free and paid media-on-demand service offering educators access to the best of public media and delivers research-based, classroom-ready digital learning experiences to engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with National and Common Core State Standards. Nationwide, more than 1.6 million teachers and users have registered access to more than 100,000 digital resources available through PBS LearningMedia.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
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Atiya N. Frederick