MCP Student Gabbi Rozumek awarded 2024 Phyllis M. Wise Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Service

By Jean-Francois Rual | April 12

Rozumek, Gabrielle 2021_04_09 cropped 500.jpgThe MCP team is proud to share the news that MCP student Gabrielle "Gabbi" Rozumek is the recipient of the 2024 Phyllis M. Wise Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Service.


Gabbi is very passionate about and dedicated to serving her community. Since 2016, she has touched so many lives by serving in numerous and various capacities. A few of her efforts include:

  • "Helping Hawk" - supported athletes in the Bristol Baysiders Special Olympics Team (2016 – 2020)
  • Volunteer at the "One Day Closer" event - introduced high school students to opportunities in biomedical research and inspired the next generation of scientists so that we can ensure a strong future in the fight against cancer (U-M Rogel Cancer Center, 2022)
  • Finance Co-Director of the U-M Young Science Innovators (U-MYScI) - through her fundraising ($10,000) and course content generation efforts, played a critical role in helping deliver community-centered and engaging quality STEM education to students in the local community who may not have otherwise had the opportunity (U-M Young Science Innovators, 2022)
  • Instructor at the MI DNA Day - taught two high school classes (9th and 10th grade) at Martin Luther King High School (Detroit, MI) (2022)
  • Mentor with First-Gen Mentor Meet - advised and gave guidance to first-generation U-M students interested in pursuing PhDs in biomedical science (2023)
  • DFB Instructor for Developing Future Biologists (DFB) - designed and taught a week-long, all expenses paid, intensive short course on the fundamentals of developmental biology to 25 undergraduate students from research limited institutions and historically excluded backgrounds in STEM (since 2022).

Gabbi's selfless effort towards community service and her willingness to lend her time and skills to the various causes she has supported are truly outstanding.

Gabbi is presently conducting her dissertation research in the laboratory of Dr. Lev Prasov where her thesis project focuses on investigating the role of the Myelin Regulatory Factor (MYRF) gene in the pathogenesis of nanophthalmos, a condition characterized by a small, structurally normal eye. We would like to underscore that Gabbi is not only an impactful serving member of our community, but she is also an outstanding graduate student, as demonstrated by her recent oral presentations, e.g., last fall, she was awarded the Best Oral Presentation Award at the 22nd Annual Pathology Research Symposium; her research funding record, which includes an NIH-funded Vision Research T32 Training Program Fellowship; and her award record, e.g., she is the recent recipient of the Full Graduate Student Travel Award to attend the Annual Biomedical Research Conference For Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS).

This makes two years in a row that MCP students have been the recipients of the OGPS Excellence in Service Award: Derek Dang (2023) and Gabrielle Rozumek (2024). This success demonstrates the commitment and value MCP graduate students place on community services and outreach, and is one way our students are having a positive impact on our local community, and beyond. This academic year, once again, the MCP team continues to be truly impressed by the high level of commitment to service demonstrated by Gabbi and so many of our MCP students.

Our program's nominee for the 2024 Phyllis M. Wise Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research was Dr. Siva Kumar Natarajan. Siva recently completed his dissertation research in the laboratory of Drs. Sriram Venneti and Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan, and successfully defended last year his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Metabolic dependencies dictate therapeutic vulnerabilities in lethal brain malignancies". With a strong publication record (nine manuscripts including papers in Science Translational Medicine, PNAS, and Cell Stem Cell) and many accolades received from many institutions, including the highly competitive Mistletoe Research Fellowship in 2021, Siva achieved an outstanding academic and training record. While Siva did not receive the OGPS award, we want to recognize his dedication, ability, and passion for research. 

Our program's nominee for the 2024 Phyllis M. Wise Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Leadership was Noah Puleo. Noah is presently conducting his dissertation research in the laboratory of Dr. Analisa DiFeo. Noah's research focuses on utilizing artificial intelligence to identify novel compounds to treat chemotherapy resistant ovarian cancer and he is the recipient of a Robson fellowship and a Training Program in Translational Research NIH T32 fellowship. Noah has demonstrated Excellence in Leadership in numerous and various capacities, including President of the MCP Graduate Program Student Council for the last two years, a position in which Noah's impacts on the MCP program are many and profound. While Noah did not receive the OGPS award, we want to recognize his leadership skills and we would like to sincerely thank him for his service to the MCP graduate program.

Congratulations Gabbi!  Congrats to all MCP students for all the work you do, both in our labs and in our community

For more information about our MCP Graduate Program, click here.