2020 Health Disparities & Cancer Research Summer Internship

July 9, 2020

This summer the University of Minnesota Medical School Program in Health Disparities Research (PHDR) and the Masonic Cancer Center are hosting the 11th annual Health Disparities & Cancer Research Summer Internship program. This internship is designed to provide undergraduate students from Minnesota’s racial/ethnic minority and underrepresented communities an opportunity to gain hands-on research and clinical experiences pertaining to cancer, cancer disparities, and health disparities. 

Program staff match interns with a faculty mentor prior to the start of the program. Each intern works with their mentor to design and complete a research project. The summer internship concludes with a poster session where interns present on their research projects.

Learn more about the program


Name: Kashif Uddin Qureshi 
Mentor: Irina Stepanov
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya 
College Major: Biochemistry, Computer Science. 
Year in school: Incoming Junior
Future plans (as of now): I hope to go to medical school and eventually become a surgeon. 
Fun fact: I was born in Kenya and lived there for 18 years. or I've always wanted to be a pilot. 

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Name: Angela Kim
Mentor: Deanna Teoh
Hometown: Blaine, MN
College Major: Human Physiology and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Year in school: Incoming Senior
Future plans (as of now): My future plans involve heading to medical school in order to achieve my dream of becoming a medical oncologist that provides high-quality patient care.  
Fun fact: I used to be an avid collector of 3D combination puzzles, owning around 23 puzzles. 

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Name: Annette Okafor 
Mentor: David Haynes
Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota 
College Major: B.S Biology, Minor in Gender & Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin
Year in school: Incoming senior 
Future plans (as of now): Medical school, I want to get a dual MD/MPH degree and work as physician in underserved communities 
Fun fact: I ran track & field for ten years, my favorite event was the hurdles (and I currently hold my high school record!) 

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Name: Menal Abdella 
Mentor: DeAnn Lazovich
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, MN
College Major: Chemistry 
Year in school: Incoming Sophomore, Macalester College
Future plans (as of now): Doctor or surgeon  
Fun fact: I have a sibling who is 16 years younger than me

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Name: Carlie Mell
Mentor: Rachel Vogel and Sue Everson-Rose
Hometown: Rush City, MN
College Major: Biology, Society, and Environment
Year in school: Rising senior
Future plans (as of now): Medicine
Fun fact: I love to bake and cross-stitch in my spare time

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Name: Samia Ali 
Mentor: Rebekah Pratt
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
College Major: I am undecided about my major
Year in school: Incoming sophomore
Future plans (as of now): Figure out what I want to do because I have way too many interests
Fun fact: I love going to hockey games more than going to football games. 

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Name: Marcus Nordquist
Mentor: Helen Parsons
Hometown: Roseville, MN
College Major: Biology
Year in school: Incoming junior, University of St. Thomas
Future plans (as of now): I plan on applying to medical school and becoming a doctor in the future
Fun fact: I like to watch soccer.

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Name: Zong Xiong
Mentor: Michele Allen
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, MN
College Major: Biochemistry Major
Year in school: Incoming Junior
Future plans (as of now): An aspiring health care worker in the medical/dental field
Fun fact: I used to be a part of a caroling group in high school


Name: Khalid Abdalla
Mentor: Brooke Cunningham
Hometown: Woodbury, MN
College Major: Biology
Year in school: Incoming Junior
Future plans (as of now): Pursue a career in medicine to tackle health inequities.
Fun fact: I can speak 2 and half languages. (English, Somali, and Arabic)

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Name: Nongnut Thao
Mentor: DeAnn Lazovich
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
College Major: Biology
Year in school: Incoming Junior, St. Olaf
Future plans (as of now): I'm not sure about my future plan but I would want to continue school 
Fun fact: I like to bake

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