Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota Awarded NCI CURE Grant To Mentor Future Cancer Researchers

MINNEAPOLIS, July 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The first class of extraordinary research interns is hitting the labs and getting to work this summer at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. The internship program, funded by a National Cancer Institute Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) grant, engages talented Minnesota students from underrepresented backgrounds in cancer research.  The multi-year grant brings interns into the laboratories of established cancer researchers, providing mentoring, hands on STEM education, and work experiences to motivated high school and college students.

Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

"We strive to be great partners in our community and we take great pride in mentoring these driven students as they explore a potential career in cancer research," Christopher Pennell, PhD, Associate Director of Community Engagement and Education for the Masonic Cancer Center.

The internship's goal is to immerse high potential students from underrepresented backgrounds into biomedical studies and expose them to potential career paths and educational options. After completing a rigorous semester-long "Cancer Biology Boot Camp" in lab safety and protocol, students are paired with a Masonic Cancer Center faculty mentor. From their mentors, interns receive hands-on training in laboratory research techniques and career development advice. Throughout the internship program, students contribute to active research projects addressing cancer biology and pharmacology research. And after the internship has ended, the students will receive continued resources and support from the Masonic Cancer Center program in Community Engagement and Education.

The Masonic Cancer Center selected five high school and four undergraduate students for the inaugural class. The 2017 Masonic Cancer Center CURE Program students represent scholars that are racially and ethnically diverse, first generation immigrants, inner-city scholars, and female students. The program's goal is to create a pipeline of opportunity and resources to encourage wider diversity within the cancer research community.

Douglas Yee, MD, Director of the Masonic Cancer Center agreed with Dr. Pennell, saying, "As an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center charged with supporting excellence in research, clinical care and education, the Masonic Cancer Center is proud to offer such a robust experience for student scientists. Developing young, talented researchers, of all backgrounds, is a critical step in preparing the next generation of outstanding investigators to fight cancer in the state of Minnesota."


Max Huber, Masonic Cancer Center, 612-624-5005,

Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota is a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. For more than 25 years, researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related disease. Learn more at


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SOURCE Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

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