Schwager is one of 100 Ph.D. students in U.S., Canada named P.E.O. Scholar

Samantha Schwager, a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering, is one of 100 doctoral students within the United States and Canada selected to receive a Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was nominated by P.E.O. Chapter P of Nashville.

Samantha Schwager

Schwager is a fourth-year graduate student in Professor Cynthia Reinhart-King’s cell mechanics laboratory. The $20,000 P.E.O. award will support her research investigating the contribution of the tumor microenvironment to cancer heterogeneity.

Schwager has authored seven articles in prestigious scientific journals. Her research focuses on characterizing metastatic breast cancer cells. By determining which breast cancer cells can leave the primary tumor and spread to other organs, more effective therapies that target metastatic breast cancer cells can be developed. “Specifically, I am investigating how cancer derived-microvesicles signal to stromal fibroblasts to mediate cancer metastasis,” Schwager said.

Schwager is a 2017 high honors graduate of the University of Virginia where she majored in biomedical engineering and minored in applied mathematics. At Vanderbilt, she has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an American Society of Matrix Biology Iozzo Trainee Award.

The P.E.O. Scholar Awards program, established in 1991, provides substantial merit-based awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. The P.E.O. has been celebrating women helping women for more than 150 years. Since its inception in 1869, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 116,000 women pursue educational goals by providing more than $383 million in grants, scholarships, awards and loans.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314