Young Alumni Leadership Award
Scott Tomlins '01
Scott Tomlins set himself apart in what was to be an unusually large and productive cohort of biology students at Willamette. As a student he was awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; he was also a member of the soccer team and the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
After graduating, Scott gained acceptance to the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Michigan Medical School and kept his momentum up: He earned a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pathology in 2007 and an MD in 2009. Along the way, he served as chair of the MSTP Program Activities Committee from 2006-2007, and was the recipient of the George R. Demuth Award in 2009 for best representing the qualities of a physician scientist.
Scott’s graduate thesis, “Discovery and Characterization of Recurrent Gene Fusions in Prostate Cancer,” described chromosomal rearrangements that cause half of all prostate cancers — promising targets for new diagnostics and therapeutics. Scott has received multiple awards for his discovery, including the Horace H. Rackham Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan, the American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award, and the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award (an international award given for outstanding graduate achievement in the biological sciences). At 31, he has already co-authored over 60 manuscripts on the molecular genetics of prostate, breast and bladder cancers.
Since 2009, Scott has been a house officer in anatomic pathology at the University of Michigan Health Systems and is pursuing a career in academic medicine, specializing in the research and molecular diagnosis of cancer. Outside of medicine, he spends any time he can exploring the outdoors.