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Paige Epler

Paige Epler conducts research on cancer cells’ reaction to a low-oxygen environment. Photo by Alexis Glenn.

Youngest Mason Grad Looks toward Medical School

When Paige Epler started her first day of classes at George Mason University, the then-13-year-old had the usual student jitters. She wondered, would she like the professors, get along with fellow students, understand the material—and what would she wear?

These days, Epler, newly 19 years old, dons a lab coat for her work on cancer cells at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in Mason researcher Nitin Agrawal’s lab. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology with a minor in astronomy from the College of Science.

Epler is the youngest graduate in Mason's class of 2015.

I think, as a place, Mason tends to be more open and accepting of people. I think it’s very accessible in both the literal and metaphysical sense.

Paige Epler, Class of 2015

“I loved George Mason University from the very first day,” says Epler. “Everyone made me feel very welcome.” The mix of students­­––from traditional first-­year college freshmen, to those juggling careers and families, to older adults––made her feel at home.

Becoming a medical doctor and having a PhD is her ultimate academic goal. This fall, Epler starts another bachelor’s degree, this time in bioengineering at Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering. She plans to spend the summer in Agrawal’s lab, continuing her research looking at how cancer cells react to a low oxygen environment.