The Courtney Page Zillman Doctoral Fellowship Program
TUFT began funding the program in 2000. Young, ambitious scientist apply for these positions and are extensively interviewed by the highly regarded and dedicated doctors at Steele Research Center. Once selected, these fellows work under the close supervision of Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis.
2003-05 Fellow Ryan Falsey
During my junior year in high school, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Jesse Martinez at the Arizona Cancer Center. Over a period of six years, my research experience ranged from examining some of the most complex biochemical pathways within a cancer cell to more direct clinical applications such as the elimination of brain cancer with combined anti-cancer therapies. As a young student, I became involved in the lab in hopes of learning more about biology and the research that helps those with life-crippling illnesses. I gained much more from this experience. I have come to understand that basic research is an investment for the future. I truly hope to help people through my exciting discoveries through science. In order to pursue my dream of eliminating cancer, I entered the University of Arizona's M.D./Ph.D. dual degree program with a major in Cancer Biology in the fall of 2002. My experiences have taught me that basic medical research and clinical results lie on a continuum. I want to serve as a mediator and translator of these fields and push both forward to assist those in need.
Currently, my research project involves an exploratory anti-cancer drug discovery program in the laboratory of Dr. Luke Whitesell. During this process I encountered a class of compounds from a plant known as withania somnifera. The use of material from this plant dates back over 3,000 years in the ayurvedic medicinal tradition of India where it has been used as a tonic to treat many ailments, including cancer. My preliminary findings suggest that compounds from this plant possess very potent anti-cancer activity. Our laboratory is working diligently to test the efficacy of these compounds in hopes of one day helping those afflicted with cancer.
View Past Fellowship Recipients
2011-2012: Fellow Alexis Bucknam
2008-2010: Fellow Collin LaCasse
2005-2007: Fellow Jessica Cantrell
2003-2005: Fellow Xinchun Chen
2003-2005: Fellow Ryan Falsey
2000-2003: Fellow Yi Zeng
2000-2003: Fellow Jason Beliakoff