PA Student Awarded Prestigious APAO Scholarship
Maria Gargano, Northeastern University PA Program student Class of 2015, was awarded the prestigious Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology scholarship this spring, 2015. Maria was first exposed to the field of oncology during the summer of 2006 as an undergraduate Biology major. She interned at the Yale Cancer Center with Michael DiGiovanna, MD, PhD conducting lab research on breast cancer cell lines. It was not until she shadowed Dr. Giovanna in his clinic that she felt a calling to care for oncology patients. Upon graduating from Providence College, Maria continued to work in oncology as a Research Coordinator and Clinical Research Manager at the Melanoma Disease Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Cancer Institute. During her 5 years at DFCI, Maria focused on several multi-center Phase I and Phase II trials. There she co-authored three publications on melanoma therapy, as well as participated in the development of several American Society of Clinical Oncology abstracts and data presentations. Maria stated, “My experience with oncology patients has inspired and shaped my life in many ways, but none more significant than motivating me to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.” Most recently, Maria has applied and been accepted to perform her final elective PA Program rotation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This experience will enable her to further learn and apply her newfound knowledge and skills as a future oncology PA. Robin Reed, MD, Program Director of the Northeastern University PA Program stated, “Since enrolling [in the PA Program], Maria has demonstrated time after time, that she is bright and capable, caring and compassionate.” Maria will accept the APAO scholarship award at the 18th annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia this September 2015.