Kayla Wilson '10

Kayla Wilson '10

Kayla Wilson ’10 (Tonawanda, N.Y.) coauthored a paper that was published in a scientific journal only six months into graduate school.

“Because I entered graduate school with research experience, I assisted on a project during my first semester laboratory rotation,” said Kayla, a biology grad. “This allowed me to be published in Oncogene, one of the world’s leading cancer journals.”

Kayla, a second-year student in the cell and molecular biology Ph.D. program at the University of Buffalo, had a research internship in a lab at Penn State Hershey Medical Center the summer before her senior year at York College. That experience impressed the admissions committee at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where she is completing her thesis lab in the department of Cancer Genetics.

“I am also grateful for the experiences I gained through the senior thesis requirement at York College,” said Kayla. “Dr. Ron Kaltreider was my mentor. It was his words that made me believe I could and should apply to a Ph.D. program and that I would be a successful scientist.”

As Kayla continues to pursue her Ph.D. and study the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway and itsderegulation in breast cancer, she reminds current students of the importance of research.

“Take senior thesis seriously and get all that you can out of the experience,” she said. “Doing original research as an undergraduate is not as common as you'd think and gives you a huge advantage when applying to graduate programs.”

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