Kayla McGowan and Phoebe Sarkar l-r: Biomedical physiology student and Premier One Scholarship winner Kayla McGowan, and One World Scholarship winner Phoebe Sarkar, a health sciences student, are on eight-month co-op internships at The Australia Prostate Cancer Research Centre.

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SFU undergrad wins premier’s scholarship

June 27, 2012
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SFU student Kayla McGowan is among 22 BC students to win 2012 Premier’s Scholarships for study abroad. McGowan is using her $10,000 award to defray the costs of an eight-month international co-op internship at The Australia Prostate Cancer Research Centre (APCRC) in Brisbane, Australia this summer.

McGowan, who is in the third year of her biomedical physiology degree program, is working on a project that seeks to explain why Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT), used to treat primary prostate cancer tumor cells, can have varying results. A portion of the time, residual ADT-treated cancer cells become more aggressive, resulting in incurable castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CPRC).

“We’re trying to find the effects of ADT under different conditions, to better understand the process and to see if there are other pathways or mechanisms to target the cells” says McGowan.

She is hoping her co-op experiences will help to her to discover the field she enjoys most, in preparation for pursuing a combined MD/PhD.

Pheobe Sarkar, who recently completed an honours thesis in health sciences, won a $1700 One World Scholarship and is working alongside McGowan at the APCRC, where she is studying the effects of insulin on prostate cancer cells.

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