SU2C and PBS Open Applications for 2018 Emperor Science Award Program - Stand Up To Cancer


Posted September 12, 2017

SU2C and PBS Open Applications for 2018 Emperor Science Award Program

SU2C and PBS Open Applications for 2018 Emperor Science Award Program


September 12, 2017 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and PBS announced today the opening of applications for The Emperor Science Award 2018 program. The program is designed to empower high school students to become the next generation of cancer researchers through a unique mentoring opportunity. Through this initiative, 100 winning students will each get to work with an esteemed university-level research scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project.

Entry will be open to 10th- and 11th-grade students for the 2017-2018 school year who have a strong scientific interest, especially in cancer research and care, including prior applicants or recipients in those grades. Students from all socio-economic backgrounds and from anywhere in the continental U.S. are encouraged to apply. Entrants will be required to complete an application and submit an essay. Entries for Summer 2018 awards will be accepted from September 10 through November 1, 2017, 11:59 pm ET, and winners will be announced in December 2017.

Winning students will be connected with science mentors from a host of high-profile medical research centers, including more than 100 SU2C-affiliated institutions, universities and industry leaders in cancer diagnosis and treatment. In addition to the mentoring opportunity, students will also be awarded a Google Chromebook to enhance their studies and to help facilitate conversations with their mentors. Winners will also receive a stipend for expenses, and the opportunity to continue the mentoring program throughout high school.

Students, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators and parents can visit The Emperor Science Award website ( to learn more about the program, read the application essay prompt, view associated resources and submit applications.

The Emperor Science Award program was first announced in spring 2015 by SU2C Co-Founder Katie Couric at Columbia University in connection with Ken Burns Presents: CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES, A Film by Barak Goodman, a three-part film on the history of cancer that aired on PBS in the spring of 2015.

“The EMPEROR documentary was transformative, educating the American public about the history of cancer and cancer research, and more so, as a springboard to engage and empower young people to pursue scientific careers, particularly in cancer research. Through these Emperor Science Awards, the documentary continues to have an impact as we encourage students to explore the possibility of becoming the next generation of cancer researchers,” said SU2C Co-Founder Sherry Lansing, who led the committee that conceived and implemented this plan.

Thousands of students in nearly all states in the continental U.S. have previously applied for Emperor Science Awards. Projects conducted to date range from “Breeding Zebra Fish to be Used in Pancreatic Cancer Research” to “Long-Term Effects of Radiation Therapy to the Chest on the Heart.”

The Emperor Science Award Program has been made possible by generous 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 of the program.

This initiative was organized by the CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES Education Subcommittee, chaired by Sherry Lansing, SU2C Co-Founder, chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation. The Emperor Science Awards are administered by PBS.

About Stand Up To Cancer

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 division 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. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser 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

About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

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Press Contacts:

Stand Up To Cancer: Jane Rubinstein (; 646-386-7969
PBS: Maria Vera Whelan (; 703-739-3225

Emperor Science Award Program
Sample 2017 Projects and Student Experience Quotes

Among the projects conducted to date are:

• Breeding Zebra Fish to be Used in Pancreatic Cancer Research
• Analyzing Tobacco Behavior in Underprivileged Communities in Houston, TX
• Long-Term Effects of Radiation Therapy to the Chest on the Heart
• Push Cancer Immunotherapy Forward with Diet
• Investigating the Evolution of Tumor Resistance Through Mathematical Modeling
• Educational Video Animations of Current Models of Cancer Stem Cell Biology Exploring their Coexistence in a Single Tumor
• Biomarkers Present in Lung and Oral Cancer Cells
• Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms for Safe Liver Regeneration while Reducing the Possibilities of Cancer
• Automated Classification and Image Analysis for Fluorescence Microscopy Data

The student experiences have been well-received:

• “The experience was fantastic. My mentor was so open and welcoming. She showed me many new lab techniques I had not been previously exposed to in high school. Such techniques included the Bradford Assay protein, Western blotting, and cell culturing. I loved how the experience combined chemistry and biology for me, my two favorite sciences. The experience truly showed me how the world of molecular biology, especially cancer biology, relies on many factors. I enjoyed studying the mTOR cancer signaling pathway because if researched enough, the proliferation of cancer may cease.”
-Daniel G., Holmdel, NJ, Emperor Science Award Recipient

• “I am working on a research project that analyzes the Global Incidence of Ocular Cancers, with a goal of publishing this paper. I am a part of a very productive team and feel like a contributing member.”
-Dom V. (2017 ESA Recipient, Berlin Center, OH)

• “I have learned so much over the past summer and I am eager and excited to learn more. Branching off of the project that I conducted last summer, my mentor and I have decided to focus our study on biological dependencies in pancreatic cancer, specifically on redox homeostasis.”
-Julia P.(2016 & 2017 ESA Recipient, Plainview, NY)


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