Things are getting better and better for UNBC biochemistry and molecular biology student Randi Woodbeck.
Woodbeck, a Houston Secondary graduate, attributes her love of science to her teachers from her hometown and was quite honoured to be top dog in last year’s Rising Star Research competition. Her project was chosen from 120 entries from across Canada and some from Hong Kong and was looking at an enzyme capable of destroying the genes that cause cancer.
And now that she’s received the J.M. Warren Award from the BC Cancer Agency, she’ll be carrying out further research on the enzyme this summer.
“I began this research here at UNBC nearly two years ago,” Woodbeck said. “It involved searching through hundreds of enzymes to find one that behaves this particular way with cancer. With this studentship, I get to focus on this enzyme and continue with my research, so that’s great.”
The award gives $6,000 each year to the top-ranking non-medical BC Cancer studentship and isn’t just a milestone for the young student but for the entire region as it’s the first time top honours have been granted to a student from the northwest.
“This is a fantastic achievement,” Dr. Chow Lee, UNBC chemistry professor said, noting that while many from UNBC have won a BC Cancer studentship, never before have they taken top-honours.
“As a professor, it is gratifying to see that UNBC continues to be such a nourishing environment for students,” he continues. “Randi has great talent, is highly driven, and is willing to take risks. I’m certain she will flourish in her career and future research endeavours.”
Woodbeck says that from here, she’d like to continue her studies in medical school to become a medical researcher.