Two students from the University of Hawaiʻi‘s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) have been awarded 2019 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Awards. Chantell Balaan, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Developmental and Reproductive Biology Program, received the Ellen M. Keonig Award in Medicine. The Kai Bowden Award in Medicine was awarded to Alina Pang, a fourth-year doctoral student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program.
Balaan is studying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) under her advisor, Dr. Masato Yoshizawa, using a species of cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus) as an animal model. Pang has been investigating the role of immune cells and metabolism in type 2 diabetes. Her research is supported by her mentor, Dr. Michael Corley, and by the National Institutes of Health (grant P20GM113134).
After completing her Ph.D., Balaan plans to perform clinical research on therapies for ASD. Pang’s goal is to conduct biomedical research with a focus on immunometabolism and epigenetics.
Balaan and Pang each received $5,000 at the ARCS Honolulu Chapter Awards Banquet on May 6, 2019 in Waikiki.
The ARCS Foundation is a non-profit organization that advances science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, engineering and medical research.