Stephen S.

Graduate Recipient

"As you pursue your dreams of higher education, describe what changes you would like to see in the CF community. What steps would you take to initiate these changes?"

When I learned about genes and protein synthesis in high school I began to understand Cystic Fibrosis. It was no longer a mysterious force, but something that could be treated and managed. From this, my ambition is to increase basic science education in the Cystic Fibrosis community. My experience has taught me that the more someone knows about the physical roots of Cystic Fibrosis the more empowered they become. Science education can take away the fear of chasing something invisible and replace it with the confidence that Cystic Fibrosis can be managed and the hope that it will ultimately be treated.

Since leaving my high school classes I have gone on to study cell biology and anatomy in graduate school. My training has prepared me to educate those in the Cystic Fibrosis community. To do this, I plan to engage regionally to promote science education in schools with CF students and support groups for parents. Within clinics, I would like to create simple pamphlets that illustrate how a mutated protein can lead to defects in the lungs and how new treatments are being created to correct this. These materials would provide doctors simple guides to show the importance of new medications. Nationally, I think there are more opportunities to connect academic conferences through live streamed sessions. This would be another avenue to allow scientists in CF research to further teach patients and families as a way to keep them informed and encouraged about the developments in community.


Stephen S.'s Artwork

Stephen S.'s Achievements

  • Ph.D. Candidate, The Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO (May 2015 to Present)
  • Member, CF Adult and Family Advisors Group, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (February 2016 to Present)
  • Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship, University of Kansas (April 2015 to Present)
  • Presentation, Society for Developmental Biology, Portland, OR (July 2018)
  • BioArt Competition Finalist, American Association of Anatomists, San Diego, CA (April 2018)
  • Comprehensive Oral Exam for Doctoral Candidacy, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS (September 2017)
  • 3 Minute Thesis Finalist, Student Research Forum, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS (March 2017)
  • Oral Presentation, International Meeting of the Federation of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, San Francisco, CA (August 2016)
  • Scientific Panel Member, Rare Disease Town Hall KC, Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO (February 19, 2016)
  • Science and Research Columnist, BioNews Services, LLC. (January 2015 to September 2015)