Jailyn Smith will complete her studies at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and leave with extensive research experiences. She has studied breast cancer since her freshman year in the laboratory alongside her mentor, Jodie Fleming, Ph.D., associate professor of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. That hands-on experience at NCCU has been key to her interest in cancer research leading to obtaining a degree in biological and biomedical sciences.
This past summer she conducted metastatic breast cancer research at the Medical Scientist Training Program Summer Research Program. Her nine-week program took place on site at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
In 2020, she completed a virtual internship at Johns Hopkins Pulmonary and Critical Unit.
Smith’s commitment to achievement also is evident in academics. Throughout her matriculation at NCCU, she upheld her status as a Cheatham-White Scholar and maintained her status as an honor student while also being active in university science and health organizations, including NCCU’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biological Science Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, Health Occupation Students of America and serving as president for Science African American Majors Evolving Club.
The Winston-Salem, N.C., native has contributed to the community through her work as a volunteer at various coronavirus vaccine clinics in the Triangle and Triad. During her fellowships, she also participated in journal clubs, clinical case studies and volunteered at the local Veterans Administration Hospital.
Upon graduation, Smith will return to Vanderbilt University to serve as a research assistant, where she will continue her study of breast cancer as well as apply to medical school.
Jailyn credits her grandfather with being an inspirational figure to pursue a career in medicine. She aspires to obtain a medical degree and a Ph.D. for a career as a physician-scientist, focusing on cancer biology and health disparities.