Student Corner: Josh Adams and Justin Badal

March 1, 2013

Josh Adams
Josh Adams
  • Second-year medical students

Adams and Badal are both busy second-year medical students but they found time to devote – and sacrifice! – themselves to a worthy cause. The two were the driving forces behind the BCM/TCH St. Baldrick's Head-Shaving Event that raises money for childhood cancer research.

As a student in BCM's M.D./Ph.D. Program, Adams has become keenly aware of the issue of funding in modern medical science, particularly funding for pediatric research.

"In 2011, pediatric research only accounted for 4 percent of total cancer research funding from the National Institutes of Health. I had read about how much funding St. Baldrick's has granted to pediatric research both around the country and at BCM, and started thinking how wonderful it would be for the Texas Medical Center to be a part of a new way in funding pediatric cancer research," Adams said.

Justin Badal
Justin Badal

He took the idea of a head-shaving event, St. Baldrick's signature method of raising funds, to Badal, and their plan was off and running … or should we say off and cutting? They partnered with BCM's Office of Student Affairs to organize the event and both agreed to shave their heads, seeking donations from friends, family and peers along the way.

"The St. Baldrick's event is important to me because I want childhood cancer to receive more funding and more recognition from the general public," Badal said. "Children have so much to experience growing up, and I don't believe debilitating chemotherapy and endless hospital stays should be part of their lives. I think providing more funding to childhood cancer researchers will help them find novel treatments and improve the outlook for children diagnosed with cancer."

Badal noted that while he has enjoyed his medicine rotation, he is leaving his mind open about surgery and other potential specialties. Adams plans to pursue a residency in pediatric neurology and genetics.