A Vancouver Island University graduate who aspires to become a brain surgeon will be awarded the Alumni Horizon Award at VIU’s spring convocation ceremony at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre next week.
Owen Stechishin will receive the prestigious award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of VIU alumni early in their careers (within 10 years of receiveing a credential from VIU).
Stechishin is currently pursuing his MD at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.
In August 2011, he successfully defended his PhD thesis: Molecular therapeutics for glioblastoma brain tumor stem cells.
Glioblastoma is a highly invasive and aggressive type of brain cancer.
Stechishin’s research involved looking into cutting-edge neurosurgical and molecular approaches to examine how certain cells in brain tumors function as stem cells that make these aggressive brain cancers resistant to therapy.
“We believe that Owen’s dedication to his subject, academic achievements recognized by numerous awards, success in scientific research, and dedication to becoming a brain surgeon represent significant achievements,” said Tim Goater, VIU biology professor. “For someone who only completed his bachelor of science five years ago, Owen’s achievements are extraordinary.”