Emperor Science Award Winner

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Marissa Guzzo

Marissa Guzzo

Marissa Guzzo was selected as one of 100 high school students from across the U.S. awarded for their passionate essays detailing the need to find a cure for cancer. The awards were made possible by grants from Genetech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis.

Marissa, a student at  Suffield High School and The Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science, was announced as a recipient for the second year of PBS LearningMedia’s and Stand Up To Cancer’s Emperor Science Award Program. The Emperor Science Award program is an initiative designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in science, specifically cancer research and care, through a unique mentoring opportunity.

Marissa was chosen from a pool of hundreds of 10th and 11th grade students from across the country who are interested in pursuing a career in science and cancer research. She will represent her schools and the entire Suffield and Windsor communities as she continues to enhance her knowledge and skills through this one-of-a-kind mentorship program.

The 100 Emperor Science Award recipients will have an opportunity to conduct research, in a lab, virtually, or in a combination of both, working with an esteemed scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project. They will receive a Google Chrome computer to enhance their studies and to facilitate mentor access for those students who live at a distance from their mentor’s research facility, and a $1,500 stipend for expenses. Those entering the program for the first year will also have the opportunity to apply for a second year.

Students from rural, suburban, and urban communities in 29 states comprise the second class of Emperor Science Awardees. These students demonstrated awareness of emerging developments in cancer treatment, including precision medicine, immunotherapy and epigenetics, and have an impressive range of research focuses and interest, including nanotechnology and engineering, basic cellular biology, gene mapping, bionformatics, DNA splicing and computational sciences.

Harvard University’s Kah Suan Lim, PhD, was selected to mentor Guzzo at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Lim’s lab works on DNA repair, with a focus on ovarian cancer.

Marissa, who plans to pursue pediatric medicine or psychology upon her 2018 graduation, will also spend time being mentored at Yale University this summer. She will work with researchers in Clinical Psychology at Yale’s Affect Cognition and Regulation Lab. She is an active member of the National Honor Society, holding the Chair of Advertising and Fundraising, participates in the Biology Club, is a Teen Board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and was recently bestowed with the National Society For In Vitro Biology Award as well as being named a U.S. Department of Education Presidential Scholars Award candidate for 2017-18.

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