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UC San Diego senior named Churchill Scholar for extraordinary undergraduate research
Date:2/20/2009

e UC San Diego School of Medicine studying cancer stem cell biology, working 30 hours per week in the in the lab while having a full class schedule. "The work was fun, but I was able to do top notch work and get the one-on-one experience with faculty and doctors," he said.

During summer 2008, he worked full-time at the UC San Diego School of Medicine with the support of an Amylin Research Scholarship, which is funded through Amylin Pharmaceutical's support of the Chancellor's Challenge 5K Run/Walk for Scholars.

"Millions of people have been affected by cancer," Juneja said. "So it was easy to stay motivated because our research will help so many people. It was exciting to come to the lab every day and feel a part of something."

Prior to researching cancer stem cells, Juneja participated in research with the Instrument Development Group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, focusing on the autonomous underwater glider called Spray. His past work also includes working on a project with Constantine Pozrikidis, professor in the Department of Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, on the mechanics of hexagonal lattices and the underlying structure of carbon nanotubes.

"I had a gut feeling about coming to UC San Diego," Juneja said. "I am from the Bay Area and I looked at UC Berkeley, but knew UC San Diego was a hot up-and-coming research institution. I was able to get so much hands-on experience outside of the classroom."

While an undergraduate at UC San Diego, Juneja co-authored four publications, including one first-author publication. "They are unprecedented in my experience for an undergraduate," Smith said.

Next year while studying with Fiona Watt, a cancer researcher and deputy director of the Cambridge Research Institute, Juneja will continue to research the interaction of stem cells with their environment and how their basic processes are disturbed in cancer.

Juneja is excited to study in the Unit
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Contact: Christine Clark
ceclark@uscd.edu
858-534-7618
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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