USD student chosen for cancer research meeting

USD student chosen for cancer research meeting Belgin Cenkci, a University of South Dakota graduate student in basic biomedical sciences, was awarded a "Young Investigator Travel Fellowship" to attend the 55th Annual Symposium on Fundamental Cancer Research, Oct. 15-18 at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.

The theme of the meeting was Maintenance of Genomic Integrity, which includes DNA repair mechanisms.

The fellowship was available for graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians in training. This award helped offset some of the

expenses incurred by the recipient. Only five awards were distributed throughout the country. The awardees were chosen based on the submitted abstracts for the meeting in October.

Cenkci conducted a laboratory experiment to understand how DNA is repaired when it is exposed to DNA damaging agents such as UV light. She and her team found a novel gene involved in DNA repair, and Cenkci believes that their research had an impact on DNA research at the symposium.

Cenkci's mentor, Dr. Gary Small, professor of basic biomedical sciences, accompanied Cenkci to the conference.

"This meeting included most of the world's experts in the field of DNA repair. This exposure will be extremely valuable to Ms. Cenkci for her future career and the award is a rewarding recognition of her work and great publicity for The University of South Dakota," said Small.

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