Holmdel Student Earns Empire Science Award and Emphasizes Research in the Cure for Cancer

Holmdel High School Student Hamzah Shaikh Earns Empire Science Award Which Includes a 12-Week Internship at the Cancer Research Institute of New Jersey. Credits: Holmdel School District

HOLMDEL, N.J. - Holmdel High School students strive to succeed in incredibly diverse ways. As they study and contemplate their life’s journey in school, their areas of specific interest begin to become more focused. Such is the case for a well-earned scholarship awarded to Holmdel’s own High School Junior Hamzah Shaikh. He applied for the highly competitive Emperor Science Award program as part of his own life’s journey.

He won.

According to the Press Release (, this competitive grant program included 800 submissions from eligible 9nth and 10nth grade Students in 44 states in the USA. The sponsor of the Research Award and Internship is PBS Learning Media and Stand Up To Cancer. Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Cancer is the focus of the program and includes a 12-week cancer research internship at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (see accompanying Press Release in full under the Press Release Section).

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Cancer kills over 1600 people in America each and every day. In addition, a tremendous challenge is the scourge of cancer in our younger population. Childhood cancer is still the leading cause of death in American children younger than 19. On May 1st of this year, Governor Christie signed a bipartisan resolution that designates the third week in September of each year as “Go Gold for Kids with Cancer Awareness Week”.  Awareness doesn’t cure cancer, however. Funding, training and proper research in the science of cancer will give us that opportunity. Curing cancer also requires the proper mindset.

Hamzah doesn’t believe we can’t beat and cure cancer. He think’s it is a false narrative. According to the Holmdel Schools Press Release, Hamzah says, “…research helps us challenge the false notion that cancer is an incurable disease”. Hamzah certainly has a vision for the future in this arena. He is involved in other arenas as well.

In addition to studies and extracurricular activities, Hamzah Shaikh is also known to us from his work at the monthly local Holmdel Board of Education meetings. Here, he shares his regular reports to the Board and the public as a member of the Student Advisory Board. His polished, friendly and accurate reporting is a constant reassurance to all that the next generation is in good hands. According to the Press Release, “I’ve looked into combining my passion for science with my interest in government and politics”. Said Shaikh. That is quite a combination. It is also not unusual in Holmdel.

The Big Bang Theory, evidencing the beginnings of the universe, was developed at Bell Labs in Holmdel. Perhaps the end of cancer will be hastened by this next generation of learners, like Shaikh, who are earning awards and research opportunities by companies and organizations that have the foresight to see the future in the children of today.


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