Binghamton Student Will Work to Cure Cancer

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Like many high school students, Binghamton junior Rosie Masso is working on her science fair project. She's studying the hunting habits of spiders.

"I'll see how long it takes for her to hunt in the different kinds of lighting,” said Masso. “I wanted to see if the lighting would affect it."

But after her project is complete and the school year ends, Rosie will head north to the Roswell Park Cancer Center, joining a team of scientists in Buffalo to look for a cure for cancer.

"I saw the opportunity, and I saw that it would be so great,” said Masso. “I thought it would be so cool to be able to work with scientists, and 'cause we're going to also be working with the robotic surgeon Da Vinci. I thought it would be really cool to learn how that works and everything."

Last week, Masso was accepted to the Summer Cancer Research Experience Program with a full scholarship. It's a seven-week program in which she will look into how radiotherapy is used to treat cancer.

"It's not like she's going to go up there and be a lab lackey,” said Masso’s science teacher, Carolyn Wilczynski. “She's going to get to engage in actual research. She's going to get a lot of experience in what scientists actually do, so that'll be really fabulous."

Masso wants to study science in college, focusing on medicine or psychiatry. So this will be her first taste of working in a lab with graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and technicians.

"This will be a really good stepping stone for getting an idea of what science is like at the next level, and also working with people who are already in the medical field," said Wilczynski.

Masso is one of 25 students in the program.

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