VBRN News & Highlights

Norwich University Student Presents Cancer Research in DC

Norwich University student Dillon Zites presented his VGN funded research on improving cancer treatments at the annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2019.

Zites’ research presentation titled, “Light Mediated Cancer Treatment Utilizing Cobalamin Derivatives” could lead to more effective ways to target cancer cells with more potent drugs without harming healthy tissue, leading to fewer treatments and side effects during chemotherapy.

Each spring, the Council on Undergraduate Research hosts an annual undergraduate poster session on Capitol Hill. At this event, members of Congress and their staff learn about the importance of undergraduate research through talking directly with the students.

Zites, 20, of Clarksville, North Carolina, is a biology major. He teamed up with his faculty advisor, Dr. Thomas Shell, an assistant professor of organic chemistry, to work on a treatment technique using light waves to activate a vitamin derivative that only targets cancer cells.

For Zites, the search for new cancer treatments is personal, having lost loved ones to the disease, including his grandfather, who died of colon cancer. “I plan to go to medical school and become a doctor. I want to be known as someone who made a difference in multiple people’s lives.”

Adapted from article by Stephen Mills at the Barre Montpelier Times Argus. Used with permission.