Undergraduate receives major NIH grant to support biomedical research

Gustavo Pacheco, a third-year in the College majoring in the Biological Sciences and Romance Lang/Lit, has received a major grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) General Medical Science division to support his biomedical research into Hypertrophic Scarring, a skin condition resulting from hyperactive scarring due to severe burns or cuts primarily affecting individuals of Afro-Caribbean descent or with a family history of severe scarring. Similar mechanisms have been shown to underlie the disease progression of cancer and wound healing. Pacheco has received training in cancer biology through his identification of a new origin and treatment for angiomyolipomas, a type of kidney tumor, and lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare form of lung cancer affecting child-bearing age women (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.03.009). He will apply his knowledge of cancer biology to understand the conserved molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate both cancer and wound healing processes. Pacheco plans to continue his work in oncology and cancer biology by pursuing an MD/PhD following his undergraduate studies. 

The award, normally granted only to advanced graduate students and post-docs from minority/under-represented backgrounds, will provide Pacheco with two-years of stipendiary support to continue his work at the Schuger Lab in the department of Pathology. Information about the NIH and its funding opportunities can be found here; candidates are advised that advanced undergraduate research is an expectation for awards of this caliber at the NIH. 

For further inforamtion and support in making application to national fellowships in support of research, contact Nichole Fazio, director of the College Center for Scholarly Advancement, to set up an individual advising appointment: nfazio@uchicago.edu.  In addition to the NIH, the Goldwater Scholarship, Astronaut Foundation Scholarship, Fulbright, Whitaker and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship program support students undertaking advanced research in STEM fields.