June 20, 2018

Student wins Jeff Murri Award for cancer research

A third-year medical student of the Wayne State University School of Medicine has won an award from the Michigan Institute of Urology Men's Foundation for her research on the association between prostate cancer and skin cancer.

Zoe Smith received the Jeff Murri Award, named for the late vice president of FOX 2 News Detroit. The award honors Murri's legacy and raises awareness of men's health issues, including mental health and prostate cancer. The award includes $1,000 to help fund the recipient's research.

"I was inspired to pursue this research because of my grandfather's battle with prostate cancer," said Smith, president of the WSU School of Medicine chapters of the Black Medical Association and the Student National Medical Association. "I am interested in understanding risk patterns, barriers to care and expanding access to care for all. This project will also raise awareness for prostate and melanoma cancer, and expand screenings for early detection. I am also interested in promoting the coordination of care between medical specialties."

Smith's research utilizes data from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. She is completing a research internship at the National Institutes of Health with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases division.

A resident of Detroit, Smith intends to become a dermatologist.

Smith received the award June 15 at the Detroit Athletic Club during the MIU's Run for the Ribbon Birthday Celebration Gala. The organization conducts a Run for the Ribbon Run/Walk each Father's Day at the Detroit Zoo. Funds raised support the MIU Men's Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the awareness, education, research and treatment of prostate cancer and men's health related issues.