Congratulations to Drs. Cheng, Landry, Ou, and Reynolds Who Received 2021 DF/HCC CURE Mentor Appreciation Awards
Leo Cheng, PhD, MPP (MGH); Latrice Landry, PhD, MS, MSC (HMS); Yangming Ou, PhD (BCH); and Carol Reynolds, PhD (DFCI) received this year's mentor awards in recognition of their willingness to engage and provide meaningful research experiences by mentoring students that participate in the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s CURE Research Training Program. This award is bestowed upon individuals who have tirelessly recognized and made the commitment to enhance the pipeline of underrepresented trainees.
An award letter from Cancer Center Director Laurie Glimcher, MD; James DeCaprio, MD (DFCI), principal investigator of the YES for CURE grant; and Karen Burns White, Deputy Director for the IECD was sent out to the recipients earlier today.
The three training programs under IECD are: YES for CURE, SPARC and CURE which stands for Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences. CURE, which is supported by an NCI R25 grant and philanthropic funding, provides hands-on research opportunities to Massachusetts high school and college students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Read More About These Recipients
Leo Chang, PhD has been a long-term mentor and always goes above and beyond for his students. Despite having a large lab with many post docs and graduate students, Dr. Cheng makes a conscious effort to make each CURE Scholar feels welcomed and supported as they learn about basic research.
“The Cheng lab was my first professional lab experience and I'm so grateful to have worked under the guidance of Dr. Cheng. Even with a busy schedule, Dr. Cheng still took the time to get to know me and design a specific project for me. He gave me the opportunity to work more independently so that I can learn about my strengths and weaknesses in research. He also hosted lab gatherings so that we can bond and better understand how everyone's project contributed to the lab’s mission. All in all, with the support of Dr. Cheng and his lab, I learned about the importance and value of teamwork. Regardless of all the different industries I later worked in, collaboration continues to be the key to success. However small a role may feel, it still mattered to the team. It's so important for everyone to share their ideas and skills as we all come from different backgrounds and experiences. Working with the Cheng lab has been a wonderful experience and I'm grateful to have gained such a valuable perspective this early on in my career.”
– Amy Luong, CURE 2015 – 2017
Latrice Landry, PhD, MS, MMSc is “always there” and takes on multiple students at once (sometimes last minute) without hesitance. Her Scholars enjoy her mentorship and support. She is adamant about including her interns on publications and involving their input in the research process from start to finish. Not only is Dr. Landry a part of the CURE Advisory Committee, but she was a critical part of the Data Science curriculum development, started in 2021 as a solution to virtual training and engagement.
“Dr. Landry has given her best … serving as a mentor who is passionate, caring, and dedicated. This has come across through several avenues: her relentless enthusiasm for conducting and communicating scientific research, her commitment in teaching us the principles of epidemiologic studies and exposing us to the real life applications of the sciences, and her courage to advocate for diversity in all aspects. She has inspired me to pursue a career in the field of cancer research and to carry with me the priority of addressing the underlying issues in medicine that disproportionately affect populations.”
– Christina Nguyen, YES for CURE 2019 – 2021
“Dr. Latrice Landry not only put in extra time to cultivate our passion in medicine, but she provided a model for a hardworking, caring, powerhouse women of color in science. She took time to bring us to conferences that we could be interested in, explain novel concepts, and experience the depth of her work in both genomics and clinical pathology. Her role as a mentor was no accident. She was prepared to bring the best of herself to our research experience, which made all of us better scientists.”
– Emma Charity, YES for CURE 2019 – 2021
Summer 2021 – First time mentor
As a first-time mentor, Yangming Ou effortlessly accepted 4 students into his virtual lab. Each scholar stating having a wonderful and inclusive experience. Though virtual, Dr. Ou engaged with all students and got to know and encourage each Scholar. Dr. Ou is a prime example of strong and purposeful mentoring.
“As a mentor, Dr. Yangming Ou has had an incredible impact on my learning experience and my time at Dana-Farber. He has easily been one of the most understanding mentors I've ever had and is extremely flexible with his schedule. He is a guiding force and is brilliantly knowledgeable in his field. Dr. Ou knew how to accommodate me and my lab partners, some of whom are still in high-school. He really showed us the importance, not just of the research he has done, but how the research we did as individuals was important as well. I really wish him the best and am grateful for all that he showed me this summer.”
– Nayeli Villa, YES for CURE 2020 – 2022
Under the mentorship of Dr. Carol Reynolds, each summer for the past 10 years, The Ritz Lab has provided a research environment to our CURE trainees, expanding their scientific curiosity, giving them a hands-on experience and a glance into the day-to-day life of a scientist. Dr. Reynolds’ consistent words of guidance, encouragement and instructions ensure our trainees remain interested and committed to a STEM career.
“Dr. Carol Reynolds and the Ritz Lab gave me the opportunity to work in a cutting-edge research environment just as I was entering my first year in college. The experience of working in a lab and a hospital was entirely new to me and she welcomed me with open arms. Because of my experience working in the Ritz lab, I was able to start college with the knowledge that there are so many different careers in biomedical research and medicine. This allowed me to feel comfortable exploring a variety of career paths and allowed me to prioritize my own dreams, instead of feeling pressure to stick to a conventional path. Dr. Carol Reynolds is an inclusive and compassionate mentor who more than anything cares about people. Seeing Carol put in so much time and effort to accommodate as many students as possible in her lab has inspired me to always be a resource to those looking to learn something from me.”
– Katte Lubega, CURE 2019
“She was kind, thoughtful, and a joy to be around. I recall a conversation we shared about my goals, she advised me on the importance of understanding your ‘why’ when choosing a career. Dr. Reynolds was an amazing mentor and an even better person. Today, I'm currently a Physician Associate student at MGH institute of Health Professions, pursuing my goal.
– Mariano R. Suriel Guerrero, CURE 2015