PBS LearningMedia and Stand Up To Cancer Announce Student Winners of Inaugural Emperor Science Award
100 high school students across the U.S. awarded for their essays on the need
to find a cure for cancer
Recipients of awards made possible by Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis
ARLINGTON, VA; January 28, 2016— A select group of 100 high school students has been named winners in 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.
PBS LearningMedia, an online educational resource library for students and teachers, and Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, received nearly 1,200 applications from eligible 10th and 11th grade students throughout the U.S. who are interested in pursuing a career in science research. Prominent judges evaluated the students’ applications: written essays submitted online throughout September, addressing why scientific research is so important in finding a cure for cancer, what scientific field they would study and why.
“We are thrilled to unveil the inaugural winners of the Emperor Science Award after receiving thousands of submissions from exemplary students from across the country,” said Alicia Levi, Vice President, PBS Education. “Working alongside Stand Up To Cancer, we are able to provide a unique mentorship opportunity to engage and empower the next generation of scientists and cancer researchers.”
The 100 Emperor Science Award recipients will have an opportunity to work alongside an esteemed scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project, a Google Chrome Notebook to enhance their studies and to provide access to their mentors for students living in rural and suburban communities, a $1,500 stipend for expenses, and the opportunity to continue the mentoring program for their remaining time in high school.
The Emperor Science Awards Program extends the learning and outreach for the PBS documentary, Ken Burns Presents CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES A Film by Barak Goodman.
“It is so exciting to see in these applications the breadth and depth of student interest in pursuing cancer research,” said Sherry Lansing, chairperson of the committee of documentary production supporters and of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, which conceived of the Emperor Science Award Program. “These students, quite possibly future researchers who will help more cancer patients become long-term survivors, demonstrated an amazing level of understanding of cancer already — one that extended beyond scientific topics like genetics and immunology, to questions like how we can improve patients’ quality of life and palliative care. Too many of these students had already experienced cancer in their families and communities and several were cancer survivors themselves.”
Students from rural, suburban and urban communities in 40 states comprise the first class of Emperor Science Awardees. These students demonstrated awareness of emerging developments in cancer treatment, including precision medicine, immunotherapy and epigenetics. They are interested in nanotechnology, basic cellular biology, gene mapping, toxicology, genetics, DNA splicing, development of biomarkers and computational sciences. From laboratory studies and mouse models to exploring marine organisms and their potential to provide “natural” cytotoxins for cancer research, students’ research interests were impressive.
The Emperor Science Award Program has been made possible by generous support from Founding Donors Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis. Their support will fund a total of 300 awards through the first three years.
“In order to help people with serious diseases, we’re relying on the next generation of scientists who possess the curiosity, passion and critical thinking skills that lead to everyday discoveries,” said Sara Kenkare-Mitra, PhD, Senior Vice president of Development Sciences, Genentech research and early development. “We’re honored to help these students continue their exploration of science and medicine through this mentorship program.”
“Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to recognize all of the Emperor Science Award recipients,” said Laura Bessen, Vice President, Head of U.S. Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Our hope is to inspire more students to explore careers that may lead to innovation in cancer care. We know these students will represent their schools and entire communities as they continue to enhance their knowledge and skills through this one-of-a-kind mentorship program.”
“Novartis is very proud to sponsor these Emperor Science Award recipients,” said Bill Hinshaw, Executive Vice President and Head, US Novartis Oncology. “It is our hope that through this one-of-a-kind mentorship program, these students will be inspired to continue their studies after high school to pursue a career in science and cancer research, and make a difference for patients.”
The full list of Emperor Science Award recipients is available at http://www.emperorscienceaward.com. For more information on PBS LearningMedia, visit www.pbslearningmedia.org.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in the United States in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress. For more information about Stand Up To Cancer, visit: http://www.standup2cancer.org.
About PBS LearningMedia
As America’s largest classroom, PBS offers digital content and services for teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a free and paid media-on-demand service offering educators access to the best of public media and delivers research-based, classroom-ready digital learning experiences to engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with National and Common Core State Standards. Nationwide, more than 1.8 million teachers and users have registered access to more than 100,000 digital resources available through PBS LearningMedia. More information about PBS LearningMedia is available at www.pbslearningmedia.org or by following PBS LearningMedia on Twitter and Facebook.