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Sarah P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)


Pharmacology, cancer chemotherapies, clinical trials, health disparities


I have had a passion for science, specifically cancer research, since I was in high school. I participated in a research project at Purdue University that qualified me for the Intel ISEF (the largest high school science fair) two years in a row. I then went on to obtain a degree in Biochemistry from Berry College, and am currently working towards my PhD in Pharmacology at UNC Chapel Hill. In my thesis work, I evaluate combinations of chemotherapy drugs through both cell culture drug response experiments and computational modeling. My career interest is in clinical trial design strategy. Outside of the laboratory, I enjoy riding my horse and playing with my dog. I also like to bake and read library books.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Animals get cancer too

Did you know that many zoo animals can die of cancer? A lot of research is being conducted on which animals are more prone to cancer than others. For example, elephants almost never get cancer because they have an amplified p53 gene that protects them from the disease. I propose a project that does a literature review of all the different zoo animals that may or may not get cancer. Next, propose which animals could be studied as models of cancer resistance and which animals could be models of cancer susceptibility and why.

Personalized cancer clinical trials

Cancer is a personalized disease - no two patients will have exactly the same cancer. This problem makes cancer difficult to treat and cure. Modern cancer research looks for disease markers specific to certain patients that may make them respond better to certain treatments. In this project, you can choose a cancer type and review the different markers known to inform patient treatment outcomes. Then, you can design a clinical trial to test a new treatment in the different patient populations to learn hands-on about personalized medicine.

Cancer health disparities

Unfortunately, many studies have shown that race and gender can affect the level of care cancer patients receive which ultimately affects their survival chances. In this project, you can research a specific area of disparity and its affects on cancer patients. Next, you can propose a strategy to overcome the disparity using knowledge of cancer medicine and public health policy.

Coding skills


Teaching experience

I have experience mentoring talented high school students both in one-on-one project development and more general classroom lectures.


Work experience

Allucent (2022 - 2022)
Clinical Trial Design Intern


Newberry College
BS Bachelor of Science (2019)
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

Completed Projects

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