Ph.D Candidate Sam Nguyen, a participant in the Long Beach Branch NAACP STEM Program, which provides resources for high school and college students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, will be honored with a Long Beach Branch NAACP Rising Star Award for his work in cancer research at University of Washington in Seattle.
To be honored November 2 at the branch’s 38th Gala Celebration Dinner & Awards Presentation, the Cal State Long Beach alumni is pursuing a Ph. D in Molecular Engineering, while “investigating cell state transitions in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) as a potential mechanism for drug resistance in cancer” and is also studying “epigenetic switches that underlie cell fate decision in T-cell development,” according to the announcement.
“Sam is deserving of this award because of his commitment and extensive research designed to find a cure for cancer and to make it accessible for all,” Naomi Rainey-Pierson, president of the NAACP Long Beach Branch, told the Post in an email. “It is important to honor young researchers such as Sam to show that we have young, brilliant minds with humanitarian spirits working to find a cure for cancer.”
Nguyen is being mentored by Dr. Robert Nagourney, world-renowned leader in cancer therapeutics and research, is a clinical professor at University of California, Irvine and a medical and laboratory director at Rational Therapeutics, a cancer research institute in Long Beach, said Rainey-Pierson.
“Research shows there are an estimated 1.7 million cases of cancer diagnosed each year and nearly 600,000 people will die from the disease each year,” Rainey-Pierson continued. “Many people impacted by cancer are people of color who are affected by environmental factors, socioeconomic level, access to resources needed and other factors such as religious and spiritual beliefs, lack of knowledge, lack of access to appropriate specialists, and life choices.”
As an undergraduate in biochemistry at CSULB, Nguyen worked on synthesizing a protein-based study material that can filter toxic heavy metals from wastewater, presented his work at numerous scientific conferences including The CSU Annual Biotechnology Symposium and The Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design Conference and spent a summer at Caltech working on optimizing metabolic pathways that produce potential anti-bacterial and anti-cancer compounds, according to the release.
Nguyen graduated from CSULB Summa Cum Laude. After completing his P.h. D, Nguyen hopes to continue studying cancer development as a university professor.
For more information about the Long Beach Branch NAACP and the 38th Gala Celebration Dinner at the Long Beach Hilton, visit the website here.
Image courtesy of Long Beach Branch NAACP.
The Long Beach Hilton is located at 701 West Ocean Boulevard.