Sorensen endowment names 6 student winners

Six University of South Carolina graduate students will receive awards under the Donna and Andrew Sorensen Endowment for Health Sciences Fund for doctoral students engaged in promising cancer research.

The fund, which was established through a 2008 gift from the former Carolina president and his wife, is administerd through the Center for Colon Cancer Research. “These talented students are being acknowledged for the quality of their research on cancer,” said Frank Berger, director of the center. “We are delighted to be able to recognize them under the Sorensen Endowment.”

Three student awardees were named fellows and will each receive a $5,000 award.

  • Taryn Cranford, School of Medicine, is studying the impact of obesity on inflammatory processes leading to cancer.
  • Minghui “Sam” Li, College of Pharmacy, is focusing on the utilization, effectiveness, risks and costs associated with drugs that stimulate blood cell formation in cancer patients.
  • Heather Mentrup, biological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, is investigating the role of intestinal stem cells in the development of colorectal cancer.

Three other awardees, named finalists, will receive $500 from the endowment.

  • Jiali Zheng, Arnold School of Public Health, is researching the role of diet in cancer prevention.
  • Pearman de Treville Parker Hayne, College of Nursing, is focusing on health literacy among breast cancer patients.
  • John MacArthur, biological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, is studying novel plant-derived therapeutic agents for fighting colon cancer.

Andrew Sorensen, an epidemiologist, served as Carolina's 27th president from 2002-08. He went on to serve at Ohio State University prior to his death in 2011. 

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