“Research isn’t about answers; it’s about questions,” says Evelyn Kandov ’17. “Having the chance to try to answer them and figure things out — that’s the exciting part,” she adds.
Evelyn’s academic career exemplifies the unique opportunities for hands-on, high-level research available to Stony Brook undergraduates.
In January 2016, she Evelyn joined the laboratory of Dr. Berhane Ghebrehiwet, a Professor of Medicine and Pathology in the SBU School of Medicine. She credits this placement as crucial to her development as a scientist.
“What drew me to him the most was his mentorship,” she says. “He is such an amazing mentor.”
Evelyn is on track to graduate in May with an honors degree in Biology — and in just three years. She is a member of the Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) honors program, and has been active in research at Stony Brook since she was a Yeshiva University High School for Girls participant in the Garcia Research Scholars program.
As an undergraduate freshman, Evelyn began doing research in the Physiology & Biophysics Department and participated in the 2015 PSEG-sponsored Explorations in STEM program, a program administered by the Dept. of Technology & Society, URECA and the Career Center that provides research/professional development in STEM areas. Working primarily with Dr. Richard Lin and Dr. Lisa Ballou during 2015-2016, she gained a strong foundation in basic laboratory research techniques on a project involving protein interactions in pancreatic tumor cells.
An interest in immunology led her to Dr. Berhane’s lab, where she has thrived. In summer 2016, Evelyn received funding from Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (URECA) to support her work on the function of C1q and gC1qR in a breast cancer cell line. Recently, Evelyn has been working as a first author on a publication (submitted), titled “The dual roles of membrane and soluble forms of gC1qR and C1q in the breast cancer microenvironment.” She will be presenting a poster at the The American Association of Immunologists, in Washington D.C, this coming May. And you can hear a preview of her presentation at the annual URECA campus symposium on April 26th.
This summer, Evelyn will be interning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and working with Dr. Ellinor Peerschke. In the fall, she will start a two-year post-baccalaureate program at the NIH working with Dr. Nataliya Buxbaum on the metabolomics of immune cells in Graft-versus-Host Disease. Evelyn has a strong interest in a translational research career and intends to pursue MD/PhD dual degree training.
Evelyn was selected to be a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, an initiative that matches high potential women undergraduates with top philanthropic leaders in the SB community. She is also the Founder and President of the BRIDGE Science Enrichment Program at Queens Gymnasia Elementary School; is a photographer for the Stony Brook Young Investigators Review; and has served as a volunteer at the Adolescent Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital.
“It’s so exciting going through this process, and knowing something that wasn’t known before,” Evelyn says. “And now there are so many more questions — because every answer leads to 15 more questions.”