Current Students

IADEP Students

Keely Smith

University of Arizona
Bachelor of science in neuroscience with emphasis in neurobiology
Class of 2022

Research interest & expertise: Cancer health disparities in adolescent and young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. Cell signaling pathways involved in cancer and therapeutics. 

I am from Kailua, Hawaii. Although I miss home, Indianapolis and the community at IUPUI has been very welcoming. There is so much to do, and I am excited to explore and meet new people over the next two years. My interest in biomedical research and care was ignited during a poignant childhood experience. When I was 10 years old, I would accompany my older sister to visit her friend who had Stage IV neuroblastoma. Despite my youthful optimism, I couldn’t fully grasp the gravity of the diagnosis at the time. Witnessing his struggle and subsequent passing profoundly impacted me. This was my first experience with death and planted a seed of curiosity within me to delve into the realm of medicine and healing. As a result, during my undergraduate studies, I researched cancer health disparities in adolescent and young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. As an IADEP scholar, I am excited to get into the hard-core science aspect of research and learn about cancer on a cellular and molecular level. I hope to take what I have learned from my experiences and the knowledge I will gain throughout IADEP into medical school. Thanks to my sister’s friend, I want to focus my care on pediatrics and specialize in pediatric oncology or pediatric surgery. 

Ryli Justice

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Bachelor of science in biology
Class of 2022

Research interest & expertise: Therapeutic options for pediatric cancer patients and the cytostatic and cytotoxic cell mechanisms induced by these targeted treatments.

I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I have been interested in biomedical research and care from an early age due to personal experiences with disparities in healthcare and loved ones battling cancer. One of the most impactful experiences I have had in cancer research is having the opportunity to participate in research for more than four years on an osteosarcoma cell line that came from a family friend of mine who passed away in 2019. Having a personal connection to the research has made the experience and work incredibly impactful. I am very excited to participate in IADEP to have the opportunity to substantially contribute to research efforts in finding new therapeutic options for pediatric cancers and continue building my research experience. I completed my undergraduate degree in biology at IUPUI, and I have always enjoyed how integrated the campus is with downtown. The lively nature of Indianapolis really shines at IUPUI. In the future, I would like to pursue an MD/PhD, and I would love to be in a position to serve underrepresented communities and research cancer or autoimmune disorders. 

Ian Green

Bellarmine University
Bachelor of science in biochemistry and molecular biology
Class of 2021

Research interest & expertise: Sequencing genetic material from unknown plant material, creating competent yeast colonies to produce unpurified insulin, and using CRISPR/Cas9 to modify E. coli genomics.

I was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. I haven’t had the chance to explore Indianapolis yet, but it reminds me of Louisville, with fewer mountains, so I haven’t felt homesick. My interest in biological science stems from my high school teacher, Dr. Mattingly, who taught me a great deal of knowledge over the four years I was her student. My main research interest is genomics because I view it as the center of all biology. At Bellarmine, my favorite research experiment involved using CRISPR. I had to teach myself the coding and usage of CRISPR CAS9 to do it. As an IADEP trainee, I am excited to branch out into relevant fields, from genomics to proteomics, to research and understand cancer. I plan to use this experience to move on to graduate school and continue my research by looking at cancer from a biochemical lens.

Anaiya Crowner

Clark Atlanta University
Bachelor of science in biology
Class of 2023

Research interest & expertise: Dermatology, tumor microenvironment and metastasis and/or tumor immunology and immunotherapy, HPV transcription and replication.

I am from Indianapolis, home of the racing capital of the world! My interest in biomedical research and care stems from my passion for science and people. It may sound cliché, but I have always been intrigued by learning about the different types of diseases and how to treat them. I've had several family members who have been negatively affected by medical issues, from cancer to unknown illnesses. Furthering my research makes me feel like I am contributing to medicine for those people in my life. Memorable learning experiences that I've had thus far have included an amazing lab environment over the past few summers. I am lucky to say that there was not a day that I wasn't learning something in the lab, and I was excited to be present and expand my knowledge. I have worked in Dr. Elliot Androphy's lab over the course of two years and was able to understand, cultivate, and present my HPV research at a symposium. I have not had many opportunities to present to many people, so being able to share my research was a milestone for me. I am really excited to network and learn new techniques in the lab during my two-year experience in IADEP. After this program, I hope to pursue a medical degree specializing in dermatology and one day have my own practice to help minorities in low-income communities and create my own skincare line.


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