High school, college interns help with UH cancer research


Nineteen high school and college students have been chosen to conduct cancer research this summer at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.

The interns were chosen in a highly competitive process from public and private schools across Hawaii and the nation. The students will do everything from analyze natural extracts for their potential as cancer drugs, to examine smoking habits among adolescents.

High school intern Bryanna Lilo from University Laboratory School said Monday that “first of all, we always have to go through protocol in the morning to find out what we are going to be doing throughout the day, so that there is no confusion mid-lab. After that, we get everything ready so the entire lab is flawless, so we can minimize as little error as possible. From then on, we carry out the lab experiment.

“The internship is pretty great because it offers us a lot of lab experiments and a lot of lab opportunities that we don’t have in regular high school labs,” Lilo said, “so for me, because I am in the cancer biology lab, I am going to be working on identifying protein … it’s going to be a good basic project for me.”

The Cancer Center’s program places interns under the guidance of faculty mentors, who help them gain research experience and complete an independent project. Interns must also present their research findings to their peers and to Cancer Center faculty.

Participants receive payment for their work, which takes place over a two-month span.

Besides Lilo, the other Cancer Center high school interns are Kristine Julian (Waipahu), Blessie Vergara (Leilehua), Hannah Mettias (Hanalani Schools), Ashley Lee (Kamehameha) and Lyneh Manuel (Aiea).

The college interns are:

  • Matthew Agsalud (Punahou), from Creighton University
  • In Ichinotsubo (Punahou), from the University of Washington
  • Dan Ju (Kaiser), from Johns Hopkins University
  • Nick Lee (Kamehameha), from Creighton University
  • Philip Lin (Punahou), from Johns Hopkins University
  • Mariah Moncada (Bellevue East), from UH-Manoa
  • Jeremie Oliver (Sequim), from Brigham Young University
  • Nicholas Simon (Punahou), from Boston College
  • Sean Saito (Maryknoll), from UH-Manoa
  • Beau Sylvester (Punahou), from University of Southern California
  • Brandon Taylor (American School of Correspondence), from UH-Manoa
  • Kristen Valencia (Sacred Hearts Academy) from the University of Portland
  • Eric Wolfe (Kaiser), from Creighton University

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