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Student Hits The 'SURF'

Student Hits The 'SURF'

Collin College student accepted into UT Southwestern research program

Marcus Shanks will participate in the SURF program this summer at UT Southwestern.

Marcus Shanks will participate in the SURF program this summer at UT Southwestern.

March 9, 2012 – One Collin College student is taking the summer to do a little SURFing.

Marcus Shanks, of McKinney, was selected to participate in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Shanks will learn and work in UT Southwestern’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, one of the premier biomedical research institutes in the nation.

More than 1,000 students apply for the SURF program and this year only 85 were chosen.

“When I told my kids that I was going to be conducting scientific research over the summer, one of them asked, ‘So does this mean that you are going to be like Einstein?’ I told him no, that I would be working with people like Einstein,” Shanks said. “It feels good to have been selected among the many qualified candidates. It is a great opportunity and I hope to meet many people that can help guide my career in research.”

Shanks plans to transfer to The University of Texas at Dallas in the fall and eventually be a researcher in the biomedical field specializing in neuroscience.

“I'm interested in mental illness,” Shanks said. “I want to work toward improving the lives of those who suffer from mental disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease. My family has a long history of it. I've seen a lot of pain it causes up close.”

For more information about Collin College biotechnology classes and undergraduate research, visit

Collin College serves about 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development.