UDC Cancer Biology Students Fight to Make a Difference

Biology Student in lab

There are 4,830 new cases of cancer and 1,660 deaths each day according to the American Cancer Society, and UDC students in the master’s degree program in Cancer Biology, Prevention and Control are fighting to change those statistics.

The University of the District of Columbia is the only university in the Washington metropolitan area offering the degree and is working in partnership with Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center. The program offers students a unique research and training opportunity.

Students can apply their aptitude in science toward changing the healthcare disparities that challenge the Washington DC community. Students benefit from UDC’s focus on community behavior and outreach and Georgetown’s research capacity. By learning from active faculty researchers and taking advantage of opportunities to engage with the community, students can make a difference in addressing health disparities and contribute to cutting edge research. 

The program was launched by funding from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.  Since its inception, several grants have been awarded to the program and many of its students have acquired doctorate degrees or advancements in their careers.

Students applying for admission into the master’s degree program in Biology must hold a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from an accredited educational institution; or have earned an equivalent degree in biology or natural sciences from a recognized college or university in another country and a minimum grade point average of 3.0. 

Master’s degree program students are exposed to topics such as Cancer Epidemiology, Cancer Education, Outreach, and Field Study, Tumor Biology, and Principles and Practices of Behavior Science in Cancer Control.

Students from the program are highly sought after and go on to medical school and serve in numerous capacities in medical research. Current students are afforded numerous opportunities to share their research and attend conferences, as well as tuition support through funding from the UDC Foundation.

“I am grateful to the UDC Foundation for giving me an opportunity to present my research at the international conference of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2018 in New Orleans by facilitating the registration, travel and accommodation expenses,” said Swara Bhaskar Yadav, a master’s student in the program who presented a poster presentation at the conference.

“This conference also gave me an opportunity to meet and interact with several stalwarts from the field of tropical medicine and diseases. There couldn’t have been a better platform for students like us to be introduced to directors of various institutes, principal investigators of leading laboratories and eminent researchers in tropical diseases.”  

A highly successful presentation resulted in a solicitation from a P.I. from Case Western Reserve University, inviting her to pursue her Ph.D. there upon completion of the UDC master’s program.

“All of this was made possible because of the generous offer of the UDC Foundation to support me to attend the conference, and for this, I am truly grateful.”