In 2015, PBS LearningMedia & Stand Up To Cancer teamed up to create the Emperor Science Award to cultivate the next generation of cancer researchers in conjunction with the launch of the PBS Ken Burns documentary, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, A Film by Barak Goodman” based on the book by Siddhartha Mukherjee. We are thrilled that our scientific director, Dr. Charles Keller, will be a mentor to Emma Rens, a 2018 Emperor Science Award winner!
Here’s more about Emma in her own words:
Hello! My name is Emma Rens, and I am an incoming junior at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace High School in San Diego, California. I have always been very interested in science. However, it was my freshman year biology class that turned this interest into a passion. I was fascinated by the complexity of even microscopic aspects of life, such as cells. During my sophomore year, my chemistry teacher posted an essay contest called the Emperor Science Award. The winner gained the opportunity to work on cancer research as an intern over the summer. Immediately, I was intrigued. I knew this would be an incredible experience to kindle my passion and witness real world scientific research. Furthermore, it involved studying cancer, something that has greatly touched my family and no doubt many others across the world.
Last December, I was selected for my essay as one of one hundred students across the country to pair up with PBS and a mentor. Even though I live in San Diego, PBS matched me with a mentor in Beaverton, Oregon from a lab called Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute(cc-TDI). At first, I was a bit puzzled as to how I would conduct research over 1,000 miles away. However, after touring the cc-TDI lab last week, I am so honored to be able to work with Dr. Keller and his team. I was completely astonished by their ability to seamlessly intertwine engineering and biology. Dr. Keller informed me that this summer I will be working on tracing the different types of osteosarcoma. I can’t wait to get to work and help fight childhood cancer!