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Chemistry Grad Building a Career in Cancer Research

In his study of molecular cancer biology, Benjamin Mayro examines the latent brain metastasis that occurs in both lung and breast cancer.

As a chemistry major and soccer player at Seton Hill, Mayro was accepted to a summer undergraduate research program at the University of Pittsburgh and spent an intense eight weeks in the Thomas Lab, with his group focusing on cancer biology.

“I feel it’s one of the most fertile fields to make scientific discoveries – one of the best ways to see how something is done is to see what doesn’t work,” Mayro says.

He received full funding to attend the world’s largest cancer conference in Chicago in April, and his work was recently used in acquiring a $50,000 grant.

His plan is to build a career in cancer research. “I can make some discovery that forms a foundation to have my own lab at a top research school – a Duke, Harvard, Stanford,” he says.

Mayro credits Seton Hill’s chemistry professors with shaping his future. “Three names that really helped me launch my career are Dr. Jamie Fornsaglio, who pushed me; Dr. Jonathan Moerdyk - I was able to join his lab. And Dr. John Cramer, my academic advisor, who was always encouraging me in science.”

Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Fall/Winter 2019 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon).