St. Jude Fellows Engaged in Exciting Summer

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Publication Date: 6/5/2008


The new class of fellows in the Rhodes St. Jude Summer Plus program have begun their 12 weeks of summer work at St. Jude.

New to the program this summer are Chris Davis ’09 from Germantown, TN who is working with Dr. Bing Yan in the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Department; Amanda Hoeftken ’10 from Columbia, IL who is working with Dr. Monika Metzger in the Oncology Department; Zach Morgan ’10 from Memphis who is working with Dr. Mike Dyer in the Developmental Neurobiology Department; Michael Pluta ’11 from Cordova, TN who is working with Dr. Suzanne Baker in the Developmental Neurobiology Department; Caroline Porter ’10 from Shreveport, LA who is working with Dr. Jill Lahti in the Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology Department; Tran Hoang-vu ’11 from Lakeland, TN who is working with Dr. Claudia Hillenbrand in the Radiological Sciences Department; and Kelly Zhang ’11 from Memphis who is working with Dr. Jon McCullers in the Infections Diseases Department.

Both Anthony Chiang ’11 from Germantown, TN and Alexander Tong from Elliott City, MD are working with Dr. Taosheng Chen in the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Department.

The fellows will also have faculty mentors at Rhodes. Dr. Darlene Loprete will work with Anthony Chiang and Alex Tong; Dr. Loretta Jackson-Hayes will oversee Chris Davis; Dr. Chris Seaton will mentor Amanda Hoeffken; Dr. Jay Blundon will help Zach Morgan; Dr. Kim Gereke will work with Michael Pluta; Dr. Mary Miller will mentor Caroline Porter; Dr. Ann Viano will help Hoang-vu Tran; and Dr. Terry Hill will oversee Kelly Zhang.

According to Dean Robert Strandburg who coordinates the program, “Such fellowships are extremely beneficial to our students. In many cases their work at St. Jude leads to publication in professional journals or to presentation of their findings at a biomedical conferences. Their mentors at St Jude often report that colleagues from other institutions who have attended these presentations cannot believe that these students are undergraduates. 

“In addition to fostering these professional skills, these fellowships help the students contextualize their work in the laboratory. They report  that contact with the children being treated at St. Jude is a constant reminder of why the work matters, and they return to their laboratories and to their classrooms with a renewed  passion for research.”