Graduate student earns life sciences fellowship

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Jessica Perez-Cunningham

UC Santa Cruz graduate student Jessica Perez-Cunningham was selected to receive a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's newly expanded Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study Program.

The program has awarded 30 fellowships to outstanding students who are pursuing a Ph.D. in the life sciences and who are committed to increasing diversity among scientists.

Perez-Cunningham studies cancer, looking to understand the developmental origin of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is advised by Professor Camilla Forsberg.

The awards provide full support to promising students pursuing doctoral degrees in the life sciences. Each fellow will receive an annual award totaling $43,000, which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance, for up to three years. Previously, the medical institute selected between five and nine Gilliam fellows per year.

HHMI leaders said they expanded the program because to encourage more Ph.D. students who are committed to diversity.