The future is bright when we read about students such as Madison Evans at Penn State. A biological engineering major who probably will head to med school to become a neurosurgeon—at least that’s the plan at the present moment. Keeping the high marks to be a Schreyer Honors Scholar isn’t enough, Ms. Evans is part of a research effort out of Professor of Biomedical Engineering Deb Kelly’s lab in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, to map a full-length model of p53, a tumor suppressor protein found in various forms of cancer, in glioblastoma cells. This PA-based team is assessing how p53 can function as a suppressor or a perpetuator of breast, brain and pancreatic cancers as well as promising applications of the team’s findings for future therapeutics.
Professor Deb Kelly and students undertake serious research leveraging the work of another Rockstar student, Penn State graduate student Maria Solares, who worked with Kelly at Virginia Tech. Ms. Solares had figured out a way to isolate the p53 protein from breast cancer cells enabling researchers to use high-powered micro imaging for study. Now these protocols are being leveraged by Ms. Evans in pursuit of the examination of the protein in human glioblastoma cells. Professor Kelly notes of Evans, “She’s looking at the entire molecule in the context of brain tumors” and Kelly confirmed “that’s never been done before.” Professor Kelly is a Lloyd and Dottie Foehr Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics.
High EQ and More
Sometimes there are really bright kids that get straight A’s in university but have no personality—that’s not Ms. Evans. She appears to be well-rounded and a high degree of emotional intelligence—the total package! Apparently, when Professor Kelly first joined Penn State, the student sent her an email welcoming her to the university. Kelly was quite impressed with such a kind and welcoming action and invited her to join her lab. Since then, Evans’ research and writing skills have impressed Professor Kelly. In her various internships according to Jeff Rice writing for Penn State News she most enjoys engagement and interaction with patients—especially “one-on-one.” By combining brains, emotional intelligence and societal engagement and importantly, empathy and compassion for those less fortunate, this young adult could go very far in life.
A Formidable CV Already
Ms. Evans already has developed a strong foundation for work and research in various internships. For example, she served as a neurosurgical clinical research intern at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; a research and development engineering intern at medical device firm Medtronic and a process development engineering intern at a State College, PA biotech venture called BioMagnetic Solutions. If that wasn’t enough, she has contributed to the Women in Science and Engineering Research program at Penn State.
A native of Fulton, MD, Evan is driven by a strong, internal humanitarian spirit so vitally important for the future health of America and beyond. Seeking to help others, especially those in communities that lack basic resources, she credits her mother and grandparents for offering guidance and emotional support. Positive energy begets positive outcomes.
There are a lot of smart kids and young adults out there in university, and we are grateful another generation is arising to take on the many challenges in healthcare (and other disciplines and professions) that lie ahead. Every once in a while, we hear or read about someone that gets a little more of our attention, and Evans is surely one of those cases. This one kid seems pretty exceptional and worthy of a note in TrialSite News. The future needs Madison Evans, and many more like her, now.