Congratulations to Stanford Cancer Biology trainee Emily Ashkin for being named a 2021 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellow! We recently spoke to Emily to learn more.
The goal of the Gilliam Fellowship is to advance diversity and inclusion in science. What kind of changes do you want to see happen at Stanford?
Changes I want to see and help work toward happening at Stanford are two-fold.
1) I want to see Stanford faculty and students making science more accessible to excluded communities. I would like to see Stanford make the science community more adaptable for people with visible and/or invisible disabilities. And I want to see Stanford foster better inclusivity for faculty, staff, students, etc. from historically excluded backgrounds by increasing access to resources.
2) I want to see better camaraderie amongst Stanford students so that students can better share experiences and setbacks with each other and better learn from each other over the course of our educations.
How did you first become interested in cancer research?
I first became interested in cancer research when I was younger, after my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer. I was very inspired by the biology behind her treatment and wanted to learn more
What kind of work are you doing now in the Winslow lab?
We are working on designing new mouse modeling systems to better study gene mutations in lung cancer. We are also studying a specific gene that heavily regulates chromatin biology that drives lung tumor growth, and we are trying to better understand the mechanism behind its role
Outside of your studies and work in the lab, what do you like to do in your free time? Any favorite hobbies or interests?
I enjoy painting, reading, rock climbing at the Stanford Climbing gym, and hiking in the Bay Area. I love watching Fútbol Premier League--my favorite team is Tottenham Hotspurs!
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