Cherry Hill East student named recipient in first-ever Emperor Science Award program

Yichuan Ma from Cherry Hill High School East was one of 100 award recipients for the inaugural year of The Emperor Science Award program. Bristol-Myers Squibb is a founding donor of the Emperor Science Award program, an initiative designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in science, specifically cancer research and care, through a unique mentoring opportunity. The opening of applications was announced in September by partners Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and PBS LearningMedia, a media-on-demand service designed for K-12 classrooms. Bristol-Myers Squibb, along with Genentech and Novartis, have provided funding to award 100 students every year, for three years.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to recognize Yichuan Ma as an Emperor Science Award recipient. Yichuan was chosen from a pool of nearly 1,200 well-qualified 10th and 11th grade students from across the country with a passion for pursuing a career in science and cancer research,” said Laura Bessen, vice president, head of U.S. medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Our hope is to inspire more students to explore careers that may lead to future innovation in cancer care, and know Yichuan will represent Cherry Hill High School East and the entire Cherry Hill community as he continues to enhance his knowledge and skills through this one-of-a-kind mentorship program.”

The Emperor Science Awards recipients will receive an opportunity to work alongside an esteemed scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project, a Google Chrome Notebook to enhance their studies and to extend the reach of mentors to students living in rural and suburban communities, a $1,500 stipend for expenses, and the opportunity to continue the mentoring program, through high school, to further their academic pursuits.

Stand Up To Cancer and PBS LearningMedia received almost 1,200 applications from 10th and 11th grade students interested in pursuing a career in science research throughout the country. Students from rural, suburban and urban communities in 40 states comprise the first class of Emperor Science Awardees. These students demonstrated awareness of emerging developments in cancer treatment including precision medicine, immunotherapy and epigenetics. They are interested in nanotechnology, basic cellular biology, gene mapping, toxicology, genetics, DNA splicing, development of biomarkers and computational sciences. From laboratory studies and mouse models to exploring marine organisms and their potential to provide “natural” cytotoxins for cancer research, students’ research interests were impressive.

To view the full list of Emperor Science Award recipients, visit