“The American Cancer Society funds projects and grants that other funding agencies may not,” said Mike Parra, post-doctoral research fellow and team captain. “They know sometimes the crazy ideas are the ones that might work out the best.”
In their fourth year of competition, the grad students and research techs are determined to beat their 2006 pledge of more than $5,000. Of 55 teams competing, the bioscientists trailed only the corporate team from Schweitzer Engineering and the community-based Tara’s Team.
Though not officially sponsored by the school, the team receives support from everyone who works there, said Parra. Especially popular is the online “silent auction” — open only to faculty, staff and students in the SMB. It is run much like the bidding on eBay, said Belchik.
“Last year an enchilada casserole went for $110!” she said.