UNLV trainee Sophia Quinton– a junior in the Honors College learning biology– was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for 2018. This marks the second successive year that a UNLV student has actually won the highly competitive award.
Quinton has been preparing for pursuing an M.D.-Ph. D. with a focus on cancer research. But her steadfast commitment to cancer research formed long prior to she came to UNLV.
During 6th grade, Quinton was diagnosed with Intense Promyelocytic Leukemia and went through more than a year of extreme treatment. Her willpower to survive youth cancer has changed into a tenacity to assist those diagnosed with similar diseases.
“My battle with cancer at age 11 motivated me,” Quinton stated. “I was constantly interested in science, and now I had a strong need to dedicate myself to research study that would ultimately affect others.”
By the end of her first semester, she was working as an undergraduate research assistant in the bioinformatics laboratory of assistant teacher Mira Han. Operating in Han’s bioinformatics laboratory has actually offered Quinton a possibility to join the world-wide collaborative effort to comprehend the intricacies of cancer.
“My operate in the lab concentrates on parts of DNA called retrotransposons, typically described as ‘jumping genes’ due to the fact that of their ability to move into brand-new locations. We understand that these genes are over-expressed in cancer.”
Under Han’s assistance, Quinton examines information from the Cancer Genome Atlas to determine connections in between miRNA and genes. She is currently finalizing two co-authored publications based upon this work.
When not in class or the laboratory, Quinton stays actively engaged on school and acts as both a Bennett Formality Mentor and Hixson-Lied Scholar Peer Coach. She also worked as an undergraduate mentor assistant in Microbiology throughout her sophomore year.
Andrew Hanson, associate dean of the Formality College, stated Quinton’s research study experience paired with her excellent GPA made her a perfect prospect for the Goldwater Scholarship. And Hanson would know– he has actually acted as UNLV’s agent for nationally competitive awards over the past five years.
The application procedure for these prominent scholarships can be daunting, especially the possibility of crafting a compelling personal declaration.
“Looking for a scholarship like the Goldwater requires a lot of idea, effort, and guts,” Hanson stated. “It is no simple task to looking at a blank computer system screen and try to find words that express who you are and what you wish to do.”
Hanson first met Quinton throughout her freshman year. “She understood precisely where she wished to take her career, and she has never ever fluctuated.”
Now, as a Goldwater Scholar, Quinton is one big action more detailed to achieving her goals. Beyond the monetary benefit of the scholarship, the award brings an outstanding scholastic distinction while likewise showing a major recommendation of her budding research profession.
“Being called a Goldwater Scholar verifies that what I am doing is significant and worth pursuing. It motivates me to continue takings steps toward my dream, even if I in some cases doubt myself. Perseverance is essential.”
Among only 211 Goldwater Scholars this year, Quinton was picked from a swimming pool of 1,280 students from 455 organizations nationwide. Named for the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, the federally endowed scholarship program looks for trainees learning lives sciences, mathematics, and engineering who demonstrate a strong commitment to research study and fantastic potential for substantial contributions to their chosen field. The award covers the cost of tuition, charges, books and space and board approximately $7,500 per undergraduate year.