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UH Cancer Center’s 2017 summer interns

Nineteen high school and undergraduate students conducted cancer research at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center during the 2017 summer.

“The internship program characterizes the community engagement that is very important to the UH Cancer Center. 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 Hawaiʻi’s science and technology workforce,” said Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director.

The interns were chosen through a highly competitive process from public and private schools across the state and the nation. Out of 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.

The internship program provides valuable research experience, 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 Hawaiʻi as physicians or scientists.

The Cancer Center’s program places interns 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 over 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.

2017 Cancer Center Summer Interns

High school students

  • Jommel Macaraeg (Waipahu High School)
  • Daven Ruggles (Kalaheo High School)

Undergraduate students

  • Larissa Ault (Charter School of San Diego) attending UH Mānoa
  • Ivy Fernandes (Mid-Pacific Institute) attending Santa Clara University
  • Megan Ishii (Punahou) attending Scripps College
  • Jethro Macaraeg (Waipahu High School) attending Creighton
  • Jasmine Padamada (Keaʻau High School) attending UH Mānoa
  • Phyllis Raquinio (Maui High School) attending UH Mānoa
  • Nicholas Siu-Li (Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy) attending Santa Clara University
  • Makana Williams (Punahou) attending Yale
  • Casie Kubota (St. Andrews) attending UH Mānoa
  • Victoria Mak (Punahou) attending Saint Louis University
  • Lynn Nguyen (Punahou) attending UH Mānoa
  • Mari Ogino (Pearl City) attending UH Mānoa
  • Dylan Combs (Punahou) attending Harvard
  • Connor Goo (Punahou) attending USC
  • Nicholas Liu (ʻIolani) attending University of British Columbia
  • Lauren Muraoka (Hanalani) attending UH Mānoa
  • Dabe Sobol (Punahou) attending UH Mānoa

The Center’s internship program is supported in part by the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant CURE Supplement, an endowment from the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company, and the Friends of the UH Cancer Center.

For full news story visit the UH Cancer Center news release.

—By Nana Ohkawa