Francisco Marchi, a first-year graduate student in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy’s department of pharmacotherapy and translational research, is one of 50 finalists for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize. Marchi was selected from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world. The annual award recognizes an exceptional student who is making an impact on learning, their peers and society beyond.
A native of Brazil, Marchi overcame a challenging upbringing and arrived in Florida at age 17 with limited financial resources. After learning to speak English, he received a scholarship to attend Santa Fe College but was diagnosed an aggressive blood cancer during his first semester. He endured 13 surgeries and chemotherapy treatments and emerged cancer-free with a new purpose in life — becoming a cancer researcher.
Marchi wants to identify successful treatments for pediatric cancer. He is pursuing this goal by combining UF’s artificial intelligence infrastructure with the multi-omics research underway in the lab of his mentor, Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., M.Sc., a professor and graduate coordinator of pharmacotherapy and translational research in the UF College of Pharmacy.
In addition to his research pursuits, Marchi has authored Take This Chemo, a book featuring more than 100 tips for newly diagnosed young cancer patients on how to handle hospitalization and chemotherapy. He also started a nonprofit organization called Heroes of Medicine, which produces videos honoring young palliative care patients.
The top 50 finalists for the Global Student Prize were selected based on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond and how they overcome the odds to achieve among many other criteria. In October, Chegg.org will identify 10 finalists from the group of 50, before ultimately selecting an overall winner who will receive a $100,000 prize.
Marchi credits these UF faculty for mentoring him and supporting his academic goals: Olga Guryanova, M.D., Ph.D., William Slayton, M.D., Andria Doty, Ph.D., and Christopher Janelle, Ph.D. He was nominated for the Global Student Prize award by Bobby Hom, his former advisor at Santa Fe College.