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Local High School Students Display Research Projects at Fox Chase Cancer Center; Student Scientists Work Side-by-Side With Researchers

PHILADELPHIA (August 27, 2001) - Local high school students who have worked side-by-side for the last year with researchers in laboratories at Fox Chase Cancer Center recently gave poster presentations of their work. The students took part in Fox Chase's Partnership for Cancer Research Education funded by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Jack Berry Fund.

The student scientists worked after school and then full time for eight weeks over the summer, learning how to ask and answer scientific questions. In the process, student scientists also got a rare opportunity to "try out" a career in science while gaining experience and making contacts that will help them turn their trial run into reality.

Courtney Haviland, Levittown, PA, of Abinton Friends, was one of the 11 HHMI Student Scientists who gave a poster presentation of her year-long research project. The projects included such significant undertakings as studying the function of proteins in causing cancer, finding genetic determinants of ovarian cancer, comparisons of family histories and cancer screenings behaviors, and observing the effects of drugs that enhance radiation therapy.

"This has been a challenging year for our group of aspiring scientists," said Cindy Keleher, Ph.D., director of the Partnership for Cancer Research Education at Fox Chase. "It is inspiring to see the next generation of researchers show such promise, creativity and intelligence-clearly demonstrated in their scientific presentations."

Fox Chase is one of 54 biomedical research institutions nationwide to receive a Pre-College Science Education Grant from HHMI. The Institute's grants program is the biggest private initiative in U.S. history to enhance the quality of science education. Fox Chase's award is for $325,000, over four years.

With this grant, Fox Chase launched the Partnership for Cancer Research Education in 1999. The program's objective is to improve students' understanding of science and inquiry skills. In addition to the Student Scientist program, the Partnership also helps scientists from Fox Chase's divisions of basic, medical and population science collaborate with area middle and high school teachers to get whole classes of students involved in real, ongoing cancer research projects.

The Institute is a nonprofit medical research organization that employs hundreds of leading biomedical scientists working at the forefront of their fields. In addition, through its grants program and other activities, HHMI is helping to enhance science education at all levels and maintain the vigor of biomedical science worldwide. The Institute is one of the world's largest philanthropies, with laboratories across the United States and grants programs throughout the world.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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