AUSTIN, Texas — University of Mount Union biochemistry student Aurelia Incristi ’22, of Rockwall, Texas, was recently selected for the 2021 Livestrong Cancer Institutes’ Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).
SURF is a 10-week summer fellowship held at The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School, where students from across the country participate in cancer-related research in clinical settings. Incristi will be paired with a cancer researcher at UT-Austin to conduct an independent research project.
“I have been working for almost two years in the undergraduate research lab with [associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry] Dr. Keith Miller, and he encouraged me to seek out summer research internship programs,” Incristi said. “This program was my top choice, since it is in the heart of where I was born and raised and checked all my boxes in terms of what the program has to offer. The program centers not only on cancer research, but on how systemic racism affects healthcare.”
Incristi is one of 20 students selected for the fellowship from a pool of nearly 200 applicants. She feels that her work with Miller in the lab has prepared her for this experience.
“In Dr. Miller’s lab, I have learned several techniques that have made me extremely marketable and have explored projects of my choosing that have led me to pursue oncology as a possible career choice,” Incristi said. “The research department at Mount has also taught me how to articulate my research to diverse groups of people, which is an important skill to have as a future medical professional.”
“Aurelia’s enthusiasm, attentiveness and focus on understanding in her learning have led to her success in and out of the classroom,” said Miller. “This highly competitive research experience for an undergraduate will assist in setting Aurelia’s application to medical school apart from others and showcasing the value of undergraduate research at Mount Union.”