Personal Statement

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In the text below a lot has been stated that is in accordance to the invitational fellowship. My goals both long-term, as well as short-term goals, have been said, my research interests relative to cancer prevention and control. My career goals have been stated below as well as how the cancer prevention fellowship program will aid in the achievement of my goals.

My research interests are centered on the understanding of the genomic and epigenetic changes that are associated with endocrine and central nervous system cancer growth and metastases. My goal is to identify novel molecular and genetic markers that would aid in the development and optimization of diagnostic techniques and treatments for endocrine cancers. I aim to contribute to the implementation and adoption of novel diagnostic techniques through future clinical trials. Advancing on our understanding of the molecular basis of brain tumors will not only allow the development of new diagnostic and prognostic markers but also contribute to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets with the goal of developing new treatment methods

My research interests also extend to study the long-term effects of cancer treatment and endocrine-therapy order to improve the quality of life of brain tumor survivors.My goals are to commit to the research about the early detection and recognition of neuroendocrine disturbances to increase the quality of care and efficiency of treatment of cancer survivors that are at a higher risk of premature death. Also, I would like to further our understanding of the correlation of genetic background with predisposed genetic susceptible towards specific cancer treatments.I would like to commit to efforts to further elucidate the role of genetic variability in the occurrence of related neuroendocrine disturbances

My educational and research experience have provided me with a solid basis in multiple biological disciplines including biochemistry, pathology, plant biology, cancer biology, microbiology, and genetics. I have attended graduate school at Cornell University. I will graduate in 2017 with my Ph.D. in Plant Pathology with concentrations in Microbiology, Plant-Microbe Biology, and Plant Biochemistry. My graduate research has been centered on the characterization and identification of novel hormone receptors in Arabidopsis thaliana and has led to two publications as the primary author.  Upon entry to my graduate program, I was awarded the State University of New York Graduate Diversity Fellowship. Additionally, I was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes fellowship in 2015. The joint NSF and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellowship allowed me to develop an international research project in Japan. I believe international research collaborations are essential in resolving global health issues.

My volunteer experience in the American Cancer Society and Umass Memorial HealthAlliance Hospital has been an enriching experience and has helped cement my decision to pursue biomedical research. During my final year of my graduate studies, I was awarded the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Research Intern Summer Fellowship. My research project at the NCI was granted an extension allowing me to stay at the NIH until the fall. My current project is centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of chromosome segregation. High fidelity chromosome segregation is essential for cell growth. Errors in the process result in aneuploidy, developmental disorders, and cancers. My research goal to uncover the mechanism by which polo-like kinase Cdc5 regulators the cellular and physiological function of centromere-specific histone H3 variant Cse4. My aim is to define the role of Cse4 phosphorylation by Cdc5 in chromosome segregation.

I am completing my internship at the NCI. After the completion of my internship, I will be taking a position at the American Cancer Society. My graduate student research project has allowed me to mentor multiple student interns through the NSF-funded Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) at Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University. My research project included interns of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and genders. The PGRP internship program allowed me to help students develop their semi-independent research project. It was an enriching opportunity to help students pursue higher education. Through seeking this fellowship, I wish to continue my commitment to mentorship programs at the NIH to educate the next generation of scientists.

The Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program offers a unique avenue in which I can begin my career in biomedical sciences and cancer biology. My future career goals pertain to being a research director and professor in the fields of oncology and neurobiology. I hope to one day lead a laboratory in brain tumor research. I firmly believe that I can contribute to advancements in the field of cancer biology if given the opportunity and the tools to do so.  The program will give me a chance to expand on my research experiences. Collaborative research environment of the NIH will further my leadership skills and communication skills, which are vital skills in the field of medicine. Through my work at the NCI, I aim to generate research worthy of publishing in the highest quality of journals, which would not only help me further my long-term goals to pursue a successful career in biomedical research but also allow me to contribute to the field of neuro-oncology.