Moffitt Project Link students win awards

February 28, 2006

Tampa, FL -- Project Link students at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute earned top honors at the Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP), a National Science Foundation funded program designed to recruit, retain and graduate minorities in engineering, mathematics, science, and technology with an emphasis on research; and to influence the enrollment of these students into doctoral programs such as the Bridge to the Doctorate (BD).

The primary goal of Moffitt’s Project Link program is to create opportunities for qualified high school and undergraduate students who have a strong interest in and aptitude for science. They are paired with Moffitt scientists/mentors to learn these disciplines.

Moffitt’s former Project Link student, Diego Espinosa won first place in biology/life sciences category with his oral presentation on “The Effects of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Receptor Antibody on Multiple Myeloma Cells.” Dr. Melissa Alsina, member of the Malignant Hematology Program, served as Espinosa’s mentor.

Moffitt’s current Project Link student, Glenn Simmons won third place in the biology/life sciences category with his poster presentation on “Development of an Approach to Improve the Efficacy of a Bystander Cell Based Tumor Vaccine.” Simmons’ mentor is Dr. Scott Antonia, Co-Leader of the Immunology Program. Project Link student, Liz Rojas won an award from the American Psychological Association’s and the Florida Psychological Association’s, best in category for behavioral science. In April, she will attend a state competition in Orlando as one of the Hillsborough County representatives. David Drobes, Ph.D., member of the Tobacco Research & Intervention Program is Rojas’ mentor.

In 2001, the National Cancer Institute awarded Moffitt the status of Comprehensive Cancer Center – in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers and is listed in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top cancer hospitals in America. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.