Youth Volunteer of the Year - Allison Heath

Allison Heath

Allison Heath’s contributions to cancer research at age 17 is truly astounding. She is a neuroscience and psychology researcher and was awarded the Emperor Science Award by PBS and Stand Up To Cancer – the only one in Michigan to receive this honor, which is given to high school students. Her research focuses on examining new drugs that may be effective in killing brain tumor cancer cells. Allison’s innovative work aims to help cancer patients heal through music. She founded the Tunes for Treatment Program that provides cancer patients with programmed iPod shuffles to aid in their healing process. The successful program serves 1,500 patients monthly and has been approved as a clinical trial by the Institutional Review Board. Allison’s service extends beyond the laboratory as well, and in 2016, she founded the Understanding Youth Lecture Series, which gives middle school and high school students the chance to hear from leading professionals in the medical field. Apart from her own organizations, Allison also finds time to serve as a volunteer at the Sunrise Assisted Living Facility, Eriksson Middle School and other community events. Allison’s leadership and heart for service has inspired everyone around her in her high school. She will begin her education at Johns Hopkins University starting in the fall of 2018, where she will have the opportunity to make more lasting progress on the health of cancer patients. “Allison is a remarkable young woman with a generous spirit,” said Laura Zubeck of the Karmanos Cancer Institute.