2016 – 2017 RIS Sarcoma Scholars

Rein in Sarcoma’s five new Sarcoma Scholars from the Mayo and University of Minnesota Medical Schools were recently announced at the 2016 Party in the Park.  Introduced by Dr. Kathryn Dusenbery of the University of Minnesota and Dr. Scott Okuno of the Mayo Clinic, the five scholars are:

Robert Gao

University of Minnesota Medical School

Robert is a third year medical student at the University of Minnesota. He grew up in Minnetonka, MN and in 2014 graduated from the U of M with a degree in Genetics. He is interested in pursuing a career in radiation oncology and is currently conducting research on the use of central nervous system radiation to improve outcomes in leukemia patients.
As a Sarcoma Scholar, he is very excited to learn more about sarcoma and raise awareness throughout the medical community about its detection and treatment. In his free time, he loves staying active and cheering on the local Minnesota sports teams.

Nazanin Yeganeh Kazemi

Mayo Medical School

My name is Nazanin and I am a first year MD-PhD student at Mayo Medical School. I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and attended college at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry in May 2015. I am interested in Oncology and tumor immunology. In fact, I plan on earning a PhD in Immunology and going on to train clinically as a hematologist so that I can take care of patients with blood malignancies. In my free time, I enjoy photography, running and spending time with my wonderful classmates here at Mayo. I am excited to have the privilege of being a Sarcoma Scholar and look forward to helping increase awareness about this malignancy.

Ashley Paquin

Mayo Medical School

I am honored to be a sarcoma scholar and look forward to working with RIS this year. Ashley Paquin is entering her second year at Mayo Medical School. She graduated from Carleton College in 2013 with a degree in Biology and subsequently spent two years in the lab of Dr. Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson at the National Cancer Institute researching the genetics of bladder and liver cancer. She had previously spent a summer researching the genetics of neuroblastoma at the University of Chicago through the Ted Mullin Fund. As a varsity swimmer in college, she had worked annually with the Ted Mullin Fund in their annual Hour of Power event for Sarcoma research in honor of Ted Mullin, a Carleton College swimmer who died of synovial sarcoma in 2004. Academically, she is interested in using genetics to better understand cancer progression, prognosis, and treatment and plans to specialize in hematology and oncology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, swimming, camping, and hosting dinner parties.

Aubrey Thyen

University of Minnesota Medical School

My name is Aubrey Thyen and I’m a third year medical student at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. I grew up in Faribault, MN, and attended college at the University of Minnesota, Morris. I am nearing a point in my medical education where I need to narrow in on a field, but for now I am spending time exploring all of my options. I am interested in Pediatric Oncology and other Pediatric fields as well as Women’s Health. When I’m not on my clinical rotations, I enjoy reading, exercising and planning my wedding! I’m very excited to be part of the Rein in Sarcoma organization this year and hopefully for many years to come.

Melissa White

University of Minnesota Medical School

Melissa White is a third year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She grew up in Lakeville, MN and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012 with a degree in physiology and Spanish. She spent two years working in the University of Minnesota Emergency Department as a medical scribe and coaching youth hockey through the Roseville Youth Hockey Association. She was involved in oncology research during her undergraduate education and enjoyed volunteering in the Journey Clinic as well as with Make-A-Wish as a wish granter. She has an interest in investigating and preventing delayed diagnosis of sarcoma in youth athletes. As a Sarcoma Scholar, she is excited about raising awareness for sarcoma both in the community and medical field, as well as participating in research. In her free time, she enjoys playing multiple sports, with her favorite being hockey.

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