Haley Peters -- a student, a researcher, a daughter

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | February 13, 2012

Haley Peters could have gone anywhere. As a student, she's been a leader who has contributed to student research forums in Australia, China and Japan.

But Peters is originally from Geneva, Neb., and grew up on a farm outside nearby Milligan. And when it came time to work on her Ph.D. in cancer research, she chose UNMC. She is a doctoral graduate student in the Cancer Research Graduate Program in the Eppley Cancer Institute.

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Haley Peters
Eppley's program is one of the few U.S. graduate programs in cancer research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A beacon for the best

The program attracts promising future scientists. Among the best and the brightest, they come from all over the world. And they come to Nebraska. As Peters shows, they come from Nebraska, too.

Home ties

When it came time to take a crucial step toward devoting her working life to cancer research Peters chose UNMC. She did so because she's a Nebraskan. She did so because her dad had been in a farm accident and she wanted to stay close to home.

And she did so because in 1989, her mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In 1990, Haley's mother underwent an autologous stem cell transplant at UNMC.

"This procedure that saved my mother's life, and the lives of so many others, was facilitated by scientists and physicians working together at UNMC."

A student's story

On Feb. 2, Peters testified before the Nebraska Legislature's Appropriations Committee in favor of LB 1089, which, as part of the "Building a Healthier Nebraska" initiative, would support a cancer research tower at UNMC.

Peters talked about the importance of collaboration among scientists, and what it would mean for all of the cancer students, scientists and clinicians at UNMC campus to work together in one place. She talked about how such a state-of-the-art facility would be a beacon in the research world.

A daughter's story

And she talked about a mom who lived to see her daughter's wedding and who will be there, alive and well, when Peters graduates from the CRGP this year.

A Nebraskan, in Nebraska, working with those who, like herself, want to be the best in the world.

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