Geneva, Neb., native chose to stay in Nebraska to study cancer research

This is the second of five stories we are sending over the next 8 days that help demonstrate the importance of a major University of Nebraska initiative.

Called "Building a Healthier Nebraska," the initiative seeks a $91 million investment from the state to support construction projects in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney. The initiative will improve the health of Nebraskans, create well-paying jobs, expand the health care work force and enhance Nebraska’s reputation in cancer research and treatment.

Projects include:

· $50 million investment in a new $370 million cancer center campus in Omaha. State funds would be supplemented with more than $300 million in additional support from private donors, patient revenues and other sources.

· A new $17 million College of Nursing facility in Lincoln;

· A $19 million, 30,000-square-foot addition to the Bruner Hall of Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney to provide space for nursing and allied health science programs.

· $5 million to plan and design a new Veterinary Diagnostic Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For more information on the initiative, go to www.unmc.edu/healthiernebraska. You can follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #healthierNE.

Link to photo of Haley Peters



Inspired by her mother's successful cancer treatment at UNMC

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC Public Relations

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 the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is a doctoral graduate student in the Cancer Research Graduate Program in the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at UNMC.

Eppley’s program is one of the few U.S. graduate programs in cancer research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Peters noted that the program attracts promising future scientists, to train in cancer biology, to make cancer research their life’s work. Among the best and the brightest, they come from all over the country. They come from all over the world.

They come to Nebraska.

And, as Peters shows, they come from Nebraska, too.

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,” she said.

On Feb. 2, Peters testified before the Nebraska Legislature's Appropriations Committee. She spoke 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 on the UNMC campus to be working together in one place. She talked about how such a state-of-the-art facility would be a beacon in the research world.

And she talked about her mom.

A mom who lived to see her daughter’s wedding. A mom who will be there, alive and well, when Peters graduates from the CRGP this spring.

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

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.


Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)

Kalani Simpson
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-7847
(402) 968-7726