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Kellee Glaus

SURP student Kellee Glaus and Dr. Mark Pershouse

Kellee Glaus with SURP mentor Dr. Mark Pershouse

School: University of Montana, Missoula
Major: Human Biology
Current Year in College: Senior
Mentor: Mark Pershouse
Project: Evaluating the Roles of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor Gene in Mesothelioma Tumorigenesis

School Awards/Honors

  • Graduated as Valedictorian of my high school class with a 4.0

  • Presidential Leadership Scholarship from the University of Montana
  • MUS, Cowdrey, and Elks Scholarship 

  • Frank Nugent Memorial Scholarship for athletics and scholastics
  • Barrick Gold Scholarship through Golden Sunlight Mine
  • Dean's List or 4.0 GPA List for all of my semesters of college

Extracurricular Activities

  • Member of the University of Montana Track and Field team as a triple jumper
Volunteered through the track team at track camps, our annual fundraiser, and heart walks

  • Volunteered through my summer job at blood drives and highway cleanups

  • Volunteered through Women’s Voices of the Earth fundraiser to promote healthier and nontoxic homes and lives in Missoula

  • Volunteered at the University of Montana International Food and Culture Festival
  • Treasurer of the Pre-Med Club
  • Thirty plus hours of job shadowing in the medical field including: shadowing doctors, physician's assistants, pharmacists and physical therapists
Worked at a mine the past two summers where I did various office tasks, collected ore samples, and participated in an ore sample study
  • Worked on my family’s ranch through junior high and high school

About Kellee

I have always enjoyed science and I've really appreciated the two years of chemistry labs that I have taken in college. It is interesting to be able to create new substances and to be able to prove or disprove a hypothesis. This has always been a way for me to get concrete answers. I don't always trust a statement, but when there is credible data and a means of replication to refute this data then it is hard to ignore.

I think that the SURP program will let me explore a different part of the medical field. Actually being able to test the usefulness of a drug or just seeing the interaction between genes in a pathway will hopefully help me to decide in which part of the medical field I want to specialize. I believe that this experience will also allow me to get to know the professors that teach me during the year. 
This is also a great opportunity to get a head start on my senior project and hopefully contribute something meaningful to my school.

I am eager to do cancer research as it's a very pertinent issue in the world today, especially in Montana with its rich mining heritage.  So many people I know have been affected by cancer, and contributing to cancer research in any way is uplifting to me. Helping to prove that the PTEN Tumor Suppressor Gene and its cascading pathway is active in Mesothelioma would be a big breakthrough in the treatment of this intensive form of cancer.  Hopefully this would help to improve the lives of patients with this terrible disease.

For more information about SURP, please visit:
For more information about the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, please visit: