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FGCU Cancer Research Program seeks to develop students through providing authentic local research opportunities, educate the community about the biology of cancer, and advocate for patients in our community and beyond.

Hover over each area of our mission below to learn more.


Develop students through providing authentic research opportunities locally


Educate the community about the biology of cancer


Advocate for patients in our community and beyond

Our Team



FACULTY FOUNDER | Phone: 239.590.7244

Originally from Faith, NC, Dr. Lyndsay Rhodes attained her bachelor degrees in Biology (BA) and Psychology (BA) from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC in 2004. She completed her graduate (2004-2009) and postdoctoral (2010-2014) work at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University, Dr. Rhodes splits her time between her two career passions, teaching and research. For more than a decade Dr. Rhodes has been dedicated to cancer research and uncovering the underlying molecular mechanisms driving these insidious diseases. Her research in breast cancer specifically has spanned molecular and cellular techniques from in vitro cell culture, to animal models, to big data bioinformatics analysis. However, the central theme to her research has remained the same; to understand the interactions driving breast cancer to develop better therapeutics for patient care. Current research interests included development of natural compounds for therapy, understanding the role of non-coding RNA in cancer regulation, and exploring nanoparticle technology for the potential treatment of breast cancers. Dr. Rhodes has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts and mentored over 40 undergraduate research students. Engaging students in authentic research experiences, involving them in all areas of the scientific process, is key to training the next generation of cancer researchers and paramount to furthering our understanding of cancer. 



Mirtha Fernandez


Taylor McCabe


Mirtha is a Senior at FGCU majoring in Biology with a Pre-Professional concentration. On campus, she is a member of Trio Student Support Services. She has also been active in Dr. Kerry Lee research lab where she studies how detecting Salmonella spp. directly from a food source can reduce bacterial transmission and agricultural product loss. She ultimately plans to pursue medical school upon graduating with her B.S. in Biology . 

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Kaelyn Julmeus

Kaelyn is a junior majoring in Pre-Professional Biology at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has a passion to serve her community as she is a Golisano Children's Hospital of SWFL Volunteer and an University Ambassador on campus. At FGCU, she is the treasurer of A Moment of Magic FGCU, a member of Students in Health & Medicine Program (SiHM), and a member of the Honors College and Global Medical Brigades. She is currently testing different analogues of the Stilbene compound against three different breast cancer cell lines with Dr. Rhodes. Kaelyn has future plans to complete a dual degree program in medical school. 


Katherine Chicca


Taylor is a senior in bioengineering with a minor in medical humanities. She currently serves as the President of FGCU STEMinist RSO which she co-founded last year, as well as A Moment of Magic FGCU that she has recently founded. She is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Society of Women Engineers, and the Honors College. Taylor recently finished up an engineering internship at Arthrex and now works on COVID Antibody research with Dr. Cassaza. She is excited to help develop this FGCU CRP to be even more successful than it has already been and document it every step of the way.


Roosevelt Malone III


Katherine is a Freshman at FGCU majoring in Biochemistry on the pre-med track. She has a passion to spread cancer awareness to anyone who is willing to listen. She is excited to be apart of the FGCU CRP team and can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

Roosevelt Malone III is a Junior majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecology and Environmental Assessment. His future career goals is to venture into and develop his own start up Agritech Company.

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