Supporting Future Physicians & Biomedical Scientists with the Gift of Education

December 21, 2018 by Jennifer Nachbur

Doctoral student Leslie Sepaniac and medical student Hyunsoo No have benefitted from world-class research, a collaborative community, mentorship and a level of support that’s ensuring they can help cancer patients from the bench and at the bedside for years to come.

Donors Mariel B. Goran and Arnold Goran, M.D.’58 (left) join Class of '19 medical student Huynsoo No and his children for a visit. (Courtesy Photo)

Neither Leslie Sepaniac nor Hyunsoo No had a connection to Vermont before coming to the state in 2015 to pursue graduate degrees, but both of them are grateful they did. In addition to the University of Vermont’s world-class research, collaborative community and mentorship, they have also received a level of support that’s ensuring they can help cancer patients from the bench and at the bedside for years to come.

As a Ph.D. student working in the lab of Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Jason Stumpff, Ph.D., Sepaniac has contributed to a discovery with the potential to lead to the creation of a drug that stops the replication of cancer cells while protecting healthy cells. A graduate student advocate and leader at UVM, the Houston, Texas native encourages alumni and donors to consider supporting Ph.D. candidates like her with their giving.

“The College of Medicine Fund aims to provide more support for Ph.D. students in such ways as offering course travel funds to conferences and workshops, establishing funding for externships in industry, and funding external courses and visiting speakers that supplement doctoral students’ work at UVM and offer insight into career pathways,” says Sepaniac.

A married father of two children currently completing his final year of medical school, No worked for a decade in Boston and New York City in the field of radiation oncology as a dosimetrist; now he’s on the path to becoming a radiation oncologist. The mentorship of alumnus and faculty member H. James Wallace, M.D.’88 and financial support of alumnus Arnold Goran, M.D.’58 and his wife Mariel B. Goran through their Medical Scholarship has provided the support he’s needed to achieve that goal. And he’s been able to do research while attending medical school, too, working on a clinical trial examining active surveillance in inoperable early stage lung cancer in the elderly, and investigating its utility, as well as exploring biomarker correlation.

“I’m grateful for The Arnold Goran, MD ’58 and Mariel B. Goran Medical Scholarship that has greatly reduced the financial burden of attending medical school, says No. “My family and I had the chance to meet Arnie and Mariel Goran, who welcomed us with open arms. My connection with them has provided not just financial assistance, but career and life advice as well. Arnie continues to remind me that ‘family comes first’ and that self-care is critical to being a care provider.”

Both Sepaniac and No describe themselves as deeply invested in UVM for the long-term.

“This place, and the incredible community it has created, will stay with me for the rest of my career,” No says.

To learn more about making a gift to the Larner College of Medicine at UVM, call (802) 656-4014, email or visit the Development and Alumni Relations web page.