CMSRU student receives prestigious national award
Imoh Ikpot, a first year student at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), received the Medical School Rotation Award for Underrepresented Populations from the Conquer Cancer Foundation and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The award is a grant which will enable him to build upon his early interest in oncology by working on important cancer research this summer with Cooper’s renowned clinical faculty.
The competitive Medical School Rotation Award was provided to only 10 medical students nationally, and is specifically for students from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine, including African American, Hispanic or Latino. It provides these students with an eight to 10 week clinical or clinical research oncology rotation with a stipend of $5,000, plus an expense-paid trip to the ASCO annual meeting in the spring of 2014.
“The competition for this award is quite strong and only the most qualified candidates are selected,” noted Jocelyn Mitchell-Williams, MD, PhD, Associate Dean for Diversity and Community Affairs. Dr. Mitchell-Williams encouraged Mr. Ikpot to apply and wrote a recommendation letter for him. “We are so proud that one of our first year students was selected for this honor. This is a tremendous opportunity for Mr. Ikpot.”
Mr. Ikpot was born and raised in Rochester, NY, but now calls the City of Camden his home. After studying biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester, he was awarded a two-year post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he was able to combine his expertise in biomedical engineering with a new-found interest in cutting edge research. While at the NIH, Mr. Ikpot was involved with cancer research, but it wasn’t until he took CMSRU’s course on hematology-oncology that his interest in the field was truly piqued.
“I found the hematology and oncology section very interesting and made great connections with those specialists,” he notes. But meeting Cooper radiation oncologist Gregory Kubicek, MD, who presented a lecture on radiation oncology, was the “tipping point” for Mr. Ikpot. “Dr. Kubicek presented an excellent lecture on radiation oncology. The fact that I now have the opportunity to work with and learn from him over the summer is really remarkable.”
Under Dr. Kubicek’s guidance, Mr. Ikpot will examine outcomes of patients that were treated with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery at Cooper over the last five years. He will extract key data points from the various patients’ treatments for what will become an ongoing database, and he will compile and analyze data, present the findings at a major conference, and draft a manuscript for publication.
“Imoh is very bright and very self-motivated,” says Dr. Kubicek. “He was very industrious in finding this particular project. He spoke with multiple faculty members, hoping to find a project that was both challenging and important. I’m pleased that he has chosen to dedicate his efforts toward this significant research.”
This Medical School Rotation award is funded by the 2013 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Medical School Rotation Award for Underrepresented Populations, supported by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.