The American Association for Cancer Research, the oldest and largest organization in the world dedicated to cancer research, has named rising Johns Hopkins University senior Karim Nabi one of 10 AACR Undergraduate Scholars for 2018 and 19.
Nabi, an international student from Jordan, has worked for the past two years in the metabolism research lab of Anne Le, an associate professor of pathology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His work in the lab has contributed to a better understanding of cancer's metabolism and how treatments that affect cellular metabolism can be used as effective therapies for cancer patients.
According to the AACR, more than 600,000 people died in the U.S. in 2017 as a result of cancer, and advances made in cancer research have not been uniform for all types or stages of the disease.
"I've been intrigued by the sciences since an early age," Nabi says. "Medicine in particular has been an interest of mine because it is inclusive of basic science, but it wasn't until I joined Dr. Le's lab that I really decided to become a physician-scientist. Through our translational outlook on cancer metabolism research, I began to truly appreciate the intersection of application and science."
As an AACR Undergraduate Scholar, Nabi is invited to attend two of the association's annual meetings, where more than 20,000 cancer researchers convene to discuss advances and developments in cancer research. The two-year award supports young scientists as they begin their careers.
"Karim joined my lab in his freshman year, and since then, I have closely mentored him myself and have watched him grow from a promising student into a confident young scientist," Le says. "Even among our brightest students, I periodically have one who stands out above the rest. Karim is one such student."
The award has supported extracurricular opportunities that Nabi says he would not have been afforded otherwise.
"Through the award, I was given an opportunity to attend one of the biggest cancer conferences, where I met leaders in cancer research and learned about their experiences," Nabi says. "The passion at the conference for something as important as curing cancer was contagious. The award is an encouraging welcome to the world of cancer research."