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Yasmin Mann, a junior in the Honors Program, has won a Goldwater Scholarship to support her pursuit of a career in medical research.
Mann, a University of Delaware junior in the Honors Program from
Middletown, Delaware, has done her homework. She has listened to,
shadowed and worked with some of the top medical researchers in the
region. And she wants to pursue exactly that kind of work in the future.
Now she has won the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship,
which brings up to $7,500 in support as well as recognition that she
has the makings of a future leader in research. She is one of 496
students nationally to win the scholarship.
The Goldwater Foundation was created in honor of the late U.S.
Senator Barry Goldwater to encourage outstanding students to pursue
careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and
engineering. The foundation reports that it has awarded 8,628
scholarships since 1989, totaling more than $68 million, and expanded
the program this year with a new partner the Department of Defense
National Defense Education Programs (NDEP).
Mann, a biological sciences major, is especially interested in
cancer-related research and pediatrics, hoping to earn medical and
doctoral degrees in the study of gene therapy and vaccines and
development of novel cancer treatments.
She has had opportunities that would help her prepare for just that
kind of work, including 10-week internships studying molecular
therapeutics at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and T-cell
immunology at Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington,
Her goal is to be a physician scientist.
An MD-Ph.D. gives you the advantage of being able to work on both
sides and bring them together, she said. What we see in the clinic
informs what we should be doing in the lab and the work done in the lab
supports practices done in the clinic. Therefore, by being a physician
scientist you become a conduit for this reciprocity of information. This
is especially important in the field of immunotherapy as it is rapidly
growing and extremely promising.
With my M.D. and Ph.D. I hope to keep up with this fast-paced
revolution in medicine and facilitate the translation of these drugs to
the clinical setting where they can help those they are intended to
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Yasmin Mann (right) took part in the 2018 UD Summer Scholars program, assisting researcher Anna Kiseleva at Fox Chase
Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Her research at UD has focused on cell and molecular biology and
genetics. She listed multiple mentors, including Dr. Erica Golemis of
Fox Chase; UD Prof. Randall Duncan in biological sciences; Dr. Zhengyu
Ma of Nemours/A.I. DuPont; Dr. Anna Kiseleva of Fox Chase; UD Assistant
Professor Carlton Cooper in biological science; UD alumna Brittany Fay,
now a senior staff scientist at Incyte; and UD doctoral student Nick
Since her sophomore year, Mann has been part of the labs of UD
professors Cooper, Duncan and Kenneth van Golen, working on her senior
thesis, which explores the effects of oxidative stress on the metastasis
of prostate cancer to bone.
Her interest in medicine was sparked the summer of 2017, during a
10-week Nemours Summer Undergraduate Research Program at A.I. DuPont
Hospital for Children, where she shadowed five doctors and worked with a
Originally I just wanted to do research, she said. But the program
allowed us to shadow doctors and the environment was amazing.
In UDs 10-week Summer Scholars program at Fox Chase in 2018, Mann
studied the effects of certain anti-cancer drugs on the signaling
process of affected cells, focusing on tiny hairlike structures called
cilia. She also shadowed physician scientists there.
She also spent more than 60 hours shadowing a pediatrician at
Nemours/A.I. DuPont in January and February of this year and has worked
as a volunteer aid in the Emergency Department there. She plans to
participate in UDs Summer Scholars program again this year.
I have definitely learned something from each internship, she said.
I liked the concept of immunology and immunotherapy. Its
In addition to Mann, another student with ties to UD also was selected for a Goldwater Scholarship Deanna Greco,
who is a research assistant in the lab of UDs Juan Perilla, assistant
professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Greco is a premed student at
Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., expecting to graduate
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986.
The characteristics the foundation seeks in a Goldwater Scholar include:
A strong commitment to a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering,
Effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, and
Potential for a significant future contribution to research in his/her chosen field.
Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials
that have attracted the attention of prestigious post-graduate
fellowship programs. Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 92 Rhodes
Scholarships, 137 Marshall Awards, 159 Churchill Scholarships, 104 Hertz
Fellowships and numerous other distinguished awards like the National
Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.
Article by Beth Miller; photos by Kathy F. Atkinson