York High School senior Kailey Slavik, along with 34 other students, graduated from the American Cancer Society's summer high school research program. They were honored at a recognition dinner at the Palmer House in Chicago Aug. 17.
Kailey spent at Loyola University Chicago. She is hoping to pursue a career in biology or epidemiology
According to the American Cancer Society, students are assigned individual projects to research alongside a ACS-funded researcher. Students gathered at the Society’s Illinois Division offices weekly to report on the progress of their research. At the end of the eight weeks, students each wrote a 10-page scientific paper, which they presented at the recognition dinner.
“It is (an) opportunity for young people to get involved and to learn about how hypothesis-driven research is so important to the scientific process,” said Dr. Katherine Griem, president of ACS-Illinois Division. "It is really this great team effort which allows us to work from bench to bedside and get the entire team involved and really towards developing a cure for cancer."
This year's graduation coincided with the 10th anniversary of the program, which began in 2003 with five students in five labs. Today, the program has expanded to 35 students working in cancer laboratories in 12 academic medical centers statewide. This experience has encouraged and fostered an interest in research in more than 200 program alumni, with 100 percent of the alumni attending college and more than 85 percent majoring in science or medicine.