MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Five undergraduate students completed cancer research fellowships at the West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center (MBRCC) this summer.   

Nathaniel Linville, Emily Ngan, Zachary Galley, Dustin Elswick and Zachary Phipps shared their research findings with their peers and mentors during a recent symposium at the Cancer Center.  
The highly competitive Summer Research Fellowship Program at the MBRCC provides funding and opportunities for undergraduate students who want to pursue careers in cancer research or medicine. Students receive a $4,000 stipend and are paired with a WVU cancer scientist for a 10-week research project.

Nathaniel Linville studied how small molecules called microRNAs affect a cell’s ability to migrate or metastasize with his mentor Alexey Ivanov, Ph.D. Nathaniel is the son of Mary and Mark Linville of Madison, W.Va. He is a WVU senior majoring in biology.

Emily Ngan studied the source of the inflammatory protein MCP-1 produced in the blood by obese mice with mammary cancer that were fed high-fat diets. This inflammatory marker may be linked to several disease states such as obesity, atherosclerosis and diabetes in addition to breast cancer. Her mentor was Linda Vona-Davis, Ph.D. Emily is the daughter of Elizabeth and Peter Ngan of Morgantown. She is a senior at Duke University and is majoring in neuroscience.

Zachary Galley studied the effects of nicotine on head and neck cancer cells with his mentor Scott Weed, Ph.D. Zachary is the son of Gina and Peter Galley of Felton, Del. He is a WVU sophomore majoring in exercise physiology.

Dustin Elswick studied the effects of high-dose chemotherapy on the bone marrow tumor microenvironment with his mentor Laura Gibson, Ph.D. Dustin is the son of Rena and Dallas Elswick of Nitro, W.Va. He is a WVU senior majoring in biochemistry.

Zachary Phipps studied the process by which genes produce different proteins in tumor cells. Understanding this process will help guide the design of more advanced and selective cancer therapies. His mentor was Peter Stoilov, Ph.D.  Zachary is the son of Laura Blanciforti and Tim Phipps of Morgantown. He is a senior at Wheeling Jesuit University and is majoring in biology.

Financial support for the fellowship program comes from the Edwin C. Spurlock Fellowship Fund, the Edward L. Reed Cancer Research Endowment, the Dr. David B. McClung Cancer Research Endowment Fund and the Joe Marconi Cancer Research Fellowship Endowment.

For information on the fellowship program at the WVU Cancer Center, see  

Photo caption: (From left to right) Nathaniel Linville , Zachary Phipps, Emily Ngan, Dustin Elswick, and Zachary Galley  presented the work they did as part of the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center’s Summer Research Fellowship Program on Wednesday (Aug. 8) at the Cancer Center.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
ss: 08-08-12