(Boston)–Melissa Chua, a fourth-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has received the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship. The purpose of the award is to foster the development of the next generation of medical researchers.
Chua was born in Australia and raised in Singapore. She traveled to Boston in 2010 to attend Boston University (BU) where she double majored in biochemistry and molecular biology and neuroscience, and obtained a master's degree in biotechnology as part of the combined BA/MA program. During her first year of medical school in 2014, Chua was accepted to the Medical Student Summer Research Program under the mentorship of BUSM's Isabel Dominguez, PhD, assistant professor of medicine. Along with Dominguez, Chua published three studies, "CK2 in Cancer: Cellular and Biochemical Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Target," in the journal Pharmaceuticals; "Cancer-Type Dependent Expression of CK2 Transcripts," in the journal PLOS One and "Comparative Analysis of Non-viral Transfection Methods in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast (MEF) Cells," in the Journal of Biomolecular Techniques.
Chua is currently taking a year off from BUSM to conduct research on brain tumors at the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is investigating the potential of combining oncolytic virotherapy and immunotherapy for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain tumor
In addition to her studies and research, Chua is a member of BU's miXx K-pop cover dance crew.