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Hunt conducts after-school cancer research, music tutoring

Photo by Alec Vick ’15 — James Hunt ’15 teaches Loyola Scholars to play instruments every Tuesday after school.

Hunt interns at TGEN, is one of the founders of Loyola Music Union

By Carter Santini ’15

As the bell rings at 2:45, students hurry to service, athletics, debate or in James Hunt’s ’15 case, cancer research.

Hunt has been interning at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGEN, since the summer of 2013 through a program called Healio Scholars.

TGEN conducts genetic research on numerous diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, autism and cancer. He began his work in the histology lab processing the different tissues that the institute receives for researching.

Hunt currently works in the pancreatic cancer lab for about 15 hours a week, continuing a project he started last summer.

“I’ve always been interested in science,” Hunt said. “I think medicine appeals to me because it’s a combination of social service and science.”

Hunt said he hopes to continue cancer research well through college but may broaden his research from pancreatic cancer to other forms as well.

Science teacher Mrs. Cheryl Lenox had Hunt as a student during both his freshman and junior years. She said it has been a pleasure to watch him grow.

“He’s a remarkable student, at first he was quiet but now he’s very clear, comfortable and confident with what he wants to do,” Mrs. Lenox said.

Mrs. Lenox said she admires Hunt’s ability to both work hard and play hard, saying that he is always smiling and relaxed while remaining focused.

On his off days from the lab Hunt works as a music tutor to about a dozen Loyola scholars through the Loyola Music Union.

Hunt became one of the founders of the Loyola Music Union his sophomore year as a way to spread his love for music to the younger generation. The Loyola Music Union works to teach the scholars piano, guitar and drums for an hour after school two to three days a week.

Hunt tutored Joshua Robinson ’18 on the piano.

“At first I knew nothing, and didn’t really care, but James made the lessons fun,” Robinson said. “He would tell us stories or jokes and we’d understand it better.”

Robinson still plays piano in his spare time and said he gives credit to Hunt for the knowledge that he has of the instrument.

Hunt takes no time off with his school workload either; he is enrolled in four AP classes and one Honors, mostly science and math.

“Part of the reason I made my course load more science and math oriented was because it’s work that I enjoy doing so it’s not too daunting for me personally,” Hunt said.