Jake Frank is a fourth-year biology student at the University of Windsor, Ontario, and recipient of a 2020 Research Studentship funded by the Taite Boomer Foundation.
What are you studying/specializing in?
I am studying biology at the University of Windsor, but I’ve taken many courses specializing towards cell and molecular biology.
How did you learn about the studentship program?
A friend of mine and former lab member Alexander Rodzinka previously held the studentship. I also participated on a team in the 2018 Undergraduate Student research competition!
What led you to apply?
I’m very passionate about the research that I do and any opportunity that I can have to continue that work throughout the summer is one that I want to apply for! I’ve been a part of the Porter Lab for a few years now and I’ve loved the experience.
What is your research project, and why did you choose it: My project focuses on the role of the mechanical and structural properties of a gliomas microenvironment in maintenance and therapy resistance of Brain Tumour Initiating Cells. I started off as a general volunteer in the lab but was drawn to the project immediately as I’ve always been very interested in the brain. A few upper year students that were both friends and mentors were also on this project and it felt very natural to proceed along this path.
What do you hope to learn through it?
I hope to be able to continue to learn about cell and molecular biology and gain a deeper understanding of how we’re fighting against brain tumours at the basic research level.
What does receiving this award mean to you?
This award is an incredible honour and I’m very grateful to be receiving it. I’m extremely proud of where I’m from and as a Windsor-born student attending UWindsor, I’m excited to see an award like this coming to our community. It shows the quality of research happening here and that our strong success in fundraising in events such as the Brain Tumour Walk are having an impact in our own region. I haven’t had the traditional four years of undergrad and it’s amazing to see that the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is willing to look at slightly older students that may have taken a semester off but are still very passionate about research. I hope that I can be strong on research side but also continue to work as a volunteer and public advocate for the Windsor Brain Tumour Walk and any other events moving forward with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada!