February 11, 2011, Victoria, BC – Brad Nelson, head of the Deeley Research Centre at the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre, had lunch at Oxford University recently with a young woman named Kayli Johnson. They had first met in 2004 when Kayli worked as a high school student intern in Dr. Nelson’s lab.
Today Kayli is a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, one of only 82 graduate students worldwide who win the all-expense-paid scholarship each year. She is studying organic chemistry, with the goal of developing more effective drugs to treat cancer.
“The High School Internship Program at the BC Cancer Agency introduced me to the part of science you can't learn in a classroom,” she says, “and to the excitement of running hands-on experiments where there is no ‘right’ answer, where each discovery is a new clue towards understanding cancer. I worked on a fascinating prostate cancer project, alongside an enthusiastic and supportive research team in the Deeley Research Centre. The experience helped me develop a true passion for science and inspired me to pursue a career in scientific research,” she says.
Since 2004, over 30 students have participated in the program. Each intern receives a generous bursary funded by the BC Cancer Foundation.
“Every year, it is a pleasure to interact with and learn from such wonderful high school students,” says Dr. Nelson. “They are so interested in helping with our research projects and I feel privileged that our team is part of their science journey.”
The BC Cancer Agency’s High School Internship Program is now inviting applications for an eight-week internship this summer. All Vancouver Island students who are entering Grade 12 this fall and are interested in science or medicine are welcome to apply before the March 1st deadline.
Details and applications are available online at www.bccrc.ca/dept/drc/hsp.
About the BC Cancer Foundation
The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. As an independent charitable organization, we raise funds exclusively for the BC Cancer Agency that support innovative cancer research and compassionate enhancements to patient care.
The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca.
For more information please contact:
Senior Director of Development- Regional Major Gifts
BC Cancer Foundation
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Provincial Health Services Authority