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Tiffin native earns grant to assist in his cancer research




Ohio Wesleyan student Ben Arnold (left) celebrates the presentation of his summer research project. Arnold worked at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the laboratory of Raphael Nemenoff, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Ben Arnold)

Ben Arnold, a Tiffin native and Ohio Wesleyan University student has earned a grant to assist in his cancer research.

Arnold, a 2016 Tiffin Columbian High School graduate, earned an OWU Connection grant to support his medical research fellowship, which studied how to make drug treatment more effective for non-small cell lung cancers.

He concluded his summer with a presentation of his work, “Coupled IFNγ and epigenetic treatment may increase K-Ras mutant NSCLC patient sensitivity to immunotherapy.”

“The lab I worked in not only gave me the ability to apply techniques learned in OWU’s classrooms – such as Western blotting, qRT-PCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction), and flow cytometry – to my research on non-small cell lung cancer treatment, but also the opportunity of working on a large interdisciplinary team of M.D.s, Ph.D.s, graduate students, and more,” Arnold said.

“This fellowship has taught me what I’m looking for in my career. Coming from a small town in Ohio, then sticking to what was familiar by choosing OWU, I never thought I’d leave Ohio or enter a big city for my career. …

“My small-town roots will always be a part of who I am, but I wouldn’t want to pass up the opportunities provided by a large institution in an urban setting. … Had I not taken the leap of faith in accepting this fellowship position, I would have never realized this; this experience has molded me into a more well-rounded medical school applicant and diversified my portfolio as an undergraduate student. …”

“Of the nearly 40 summer research programs I applied to earlier this spring, only a handful were cancer fellowships. The only reason I even applied to a handful at all was because oncology sparked my interest after reading Paul Kalanithi’s ‘When Breath Becomes Air,’ where he writes a compassionate autobiography of his battle with cancer and embracing death.

“From this program, I feel even more solidified in pursuing oncology, but have realized from the M.D./Ph.D.s I’ve met that having cancer research is an excellent escape from the trauma and emotional drain that working with cancer patients entails. …”

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