Student Corner: BCM Students Against Cancer

Medical students with an interest in oncology are making an impact on the Baylor community and beyond through their new group, BCM Students Against Cancer.


Members of BCM Students Against Cancer, from left to right, Tim Hagan, Christine Yost, Riyad Seervai, Taylor Gilliland, Mike Murri and Lucy Gao, all second-year medical students.

Founded earlier this year by second-year medical students Taylor Gilliland and Riyad Seervai, the group’s mission is to foster and promote an interest in all aspects related to oncology within the Baylor community. The group’s goals include raising awareness of cancer-related developments through lectures and interactive sessions, increasing student exposure to clinical oncology through shadowing opportunities, advocating for oncology education in the BCM undergraduate curriculum and increasing student involvement in community service.

Past events include lectures by Drs. Cliff Dacso, Jacob Mandel and Kent Osborne; a conversation on cancer in developing countries with Dr. Parth Mehta (in collaboration with the Global Health interest group); a case report writing symposium with Dr. Frank Gannon; a student shadowing program at various BCM-affiliated hospitals; and coordinating student volunteers for the medical tent at the 2015 Houston Avon Walk.

The group recently was selected for funding through the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s new Student Cancer Interest Group program, supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation. The designation provides Baylor’s group with $500 as well as other support and access to ASCO’s new Medical Student Online Networking Forum, linking cancer interest groups at other medical schools nationwide.

Future BCM Students Against Cancer events include a faculty panel discussion on careers in oncology, an MS2 pre-clinical elective on pathologic bases of cancer, a second case report writing symposium for current first-year medical students and volunteer opportunities at Camp For All, the 2015 Houston Purple Strides 5K and the 2016 Baylor/UT Houston Saint Baldrick’s event.

The group is supported by a faculty advisory panel of Drs. Steven Curley, Ben Musher, Henry Mok, and Sean McGuire, as well as by Dr. Kent Osborne and the NCI Comprehensive-Designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center. The group welcomes participation from all medical students and is working toward integrating students from the graduate school who are interested in cancer.