Boston University Medical Student Studies Cancer On American Cancer Society Summer Research Fellowship

Contact: Michelle Roberts, 617-639-8491 |

(Framingham, MA) – Paul Romesser of Boston’s South End has been selected as a 2007 Betty Lea Stone- American Cancer Society Junior Research Fellow. A first-year student at the Boston University Medical School, Romesser began his 10-week fellowship on June 4 under the guidance of Professor Gerald Denis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine.

As a 2007 Stone Fellow, Romesser has received a $4,500 grant from the American Cancer Society’s New England Division to work on a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma study entitled, ‘Differential Proteomic Characterization of B Cell Proliferate States: Analysis of Tumor-Specific and Proliferation-Specific Proteomes in Normal and Malignant B Cells.’ Romesser is researching proteins in healthy cells and comparing them to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer cells to identify the differences between them. “We are trying to identify the origin of where the cancer is starting,” said Romesser. “So we can determine what caused it to originally arise and help other researchers find the areas that need to be researched more intensely in the future.”

A native of Torrance, California, Romesser is in his first year of medical school at Boston University’s School of Medicine. He is interested in the study of Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer because it is the sixth most commonly diagnosed and deadliest cancer in the United States.

He also explained that U.S. incidence of Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has increased 75% in the last three decades, so new treatments are much needed and long overdue.

“I am interested in cancer research because it is a very basic question, everyone knows what it is, but when you research cancer you get very powerful answers,” he said. Romesser is interested in pursuing clinical work and possibly having his own research laboratory one day. “If I was to choose what I would study today,” said Romesser, “it would be cancer.”

Romesser heard about the Stone Fellowship last year when the fellowship opportunity was announced in his classroom. Since he was researching Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the time, he decided to apply for the fellowship in hopes that the American Cancer Society would help him to continue his research. “I am happy to be where I am. It was my dream since I was a little kid,” he said.

The Stone-American Cancer Society Fellowship offers grants to gifted young medical students, introducing them to basic cancer research. The fellowship began in 1979, when the family of Betty Lea Stone—a longtime Boston area volunteer and generous supporter of the American Cancer Society’s research program— honored their mother’s 80th birthday by establishing a grant that would enable selected first-year medical students to work over the summer with a principal investigator on a project that has a direct application to cancer prevention or treatment.

David T. MacLaughlin, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the chairperson of the American Cancer Society’s fellowship program, said, “The Stone Fellowship offers medical students from all New England states an opportunity to spend the summer in a first-class cancer research laboratory working on a project he or she has designed in collaboration with the host scientist. This experience brings the doctor-in-training in contact with a physician-scientist who not only guides the young investigator’s research efforts, but who also serves as an invaluable role model, thus helping to keep our best minds dedicated to spending their lives fighting cancer in the laboratory and in the clinic.”

The American Cancer Society is the largest private funder of cancer research in the U.S., providing more than $130 million in new cancer research grants each year. Over the last six decades American Cancer Society research grants have focused on supporting beginning scientists like Romesser in the early stages of their scientific careers—a time when support for innovative ideas is the most difficult to find. The Society has been very successful in funding talented young researchers, 40 of whom have gone on to win Nobel Prizes in science or medicine. The American Cancer Society has helped fund virtually every major advance against cancer since 1946, including such promising new treatments such as Herceptin, Gleevec, Interferon, and anti-angiogenesis.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions, and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit