Undergraduate Research Scholar Program fellow continues her pursuit of science
Megan Andres at her lab bench in Dr. Mock’s lab.
Photo credit: Lianne Priede
Megan Andres is an NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) fellow with Beverly Mock, Ph.D., Deputy Chief of the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics. The UGSP program offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral and social science health-related research. In addition to offering scholarship support to students, the program also offers paid research training at the NIH during the summer and paid employment and training at the NIH after graduation.
Andres, who is originally from Michigan, attended the University of Georgia where she received her Bachelor of Science in biology. During her undergraduate career, she became interested in pursuing research and started working in a lab almost immediately. She wanted to continue developing her research skills throughout the summer months and learned about UGSP through her university’s scholarship office.
After discussing the program with friends participating in UGSP, she decided to apply to the program and was ultimately accepted. According to Darryl Murray, Ph.D., Director of the UGSP program, acceptance to the program is competitive. He says “[NIH] receives more than 200 applications per year and only selects 15 to 20 recipients.”
As part of the program, she did summer research with the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) in 2017 and the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) in 2018 prior to joining Dr. Mock’s lab as a full-time fellow in the fall. When she was in POB, Andres was working on neuroblastoma research and practiced technical skills in Western blotting, plasmid extraction and cell culture. Her second summer, she was part of the NOB Translational Research Immersion Program where there was a focus on bench-to-bedside research and clinical applications.
In her current position, Andres will be working with Rania Labib, Ph.D., another fellow in Dr. Mock’s lab, to make a difference in possible treatment options for children with Burkitt lymphoma. Andres says, “[Dr. Mock] invests in our futures; she’s focused on our next steps and how she can help us achieve [them].”
Andres’ goal post-fellowship is to attain a Master of Science in Nursing degree, work as a nurse for a few years and then pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She highly recommends UGSP to anyone considering a career in the biomedical or health sciences field.Thu, 04/25/2019