First-year honors student awarded summer research experience for undergraduates at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Photo of first-year honors student Nancy Chau.
Posted by Bethany Gauthier on

Nancy Chau, a first-year Lee Honors College student, and a 2021 WMU Medallion Scholar, will be conducting cancer research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center this summer. Research experiences for undergraduates (REU) can be highly competitive and are not often granted to first-year students. The MD Anderson Cancer Center was ranked as the No. 1 cancer hospital by the U.S. News & World Report for 2021-22.

Nancy shares that she is “incredibly excited to [experience] hands-on research training in state-of-the-art labs! My future project has not yet been finalized, but I am hoping to investigate the risk factors in cancer diseases among low socioeconomic status populations.”

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is located in Houston, TX and Nancy looks forward to traveling there and experiencing a new city. As part of her REU, Nancy will receive research training from distinguished faculty along with the other students in her cohort who are from all over the globe! 

For students who would like to pursue their own REU, Nancy’s advice is to “Be yourself and share your life experiences that don’t have to be related to research. For example, when I applied, I wrote about my experiences of being an immigrant and how my role as a translator for my family has helped me realize the struggles of underrepresented populations in receiving health care. I don’t have an outstanding research record like other applicants from bigger institutions, but my story really demonstrates my curiosity to learn and determination to help disadvantaged populations. My background, my past experiences and what I learn from them have made me become a strong applicant. So instead of forgetting about your past, use it to forge your future."

Nancy adds that, “My involvement in lab at WMU has provided me with the valuable experience necessary for this summer in Texas. I greatly appreciate Dr. Duncan and his graduate students for creating a supportive environment and guiding me through the world of research.” Nancy has been working with Dr. Jeremy Duncan in the Duncan Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences. 

Congratulations to Nancy on this significant achievement! We wish her well as she prepares for this new adventure and look forward to hearing about her experiences.