Jordanna Jayne, PhD student

Jordanna Jayne has always liked reaching for new heights – both academically and physically. Her passion has led her to pursue a PhD in USC Mann’s Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics program, and is taking her on an epic mountain climb later this year.

Jayne’s academic pursuits were spurred by her interest in translational research.

“I decided to apply for the CXPT PhD program after I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a summer lab project with Dr. Daryl Davies in 2011,” she explains. “My experiences within the lab were great – everyone was so kind and welcoming. I learned a lot of new techniques and also about how scientific research is undertaken in an academic environment.”

Davies suggested she pursue this particular degree, and she took his advice.

“I have always been interested in clinical research, and this degree program seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to begin working towards a career in the field,” says Jayne. “I am learning a vast amount while thoroughly enjoying my new life here at USC.”

Jordana Jayne CandidBefore beginning the program in the fall of 2014, Jayne completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and her master’s degree in Cancer Stem Cell Research at Cardiff University (U.K.).

Outside of her academic path, Jayne will be going on an exciting trip this summer: she is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free-standing mountain, all for a cause that is near to her heart.

“The reason I decided to take on this mammoth trip is that one of my closest friends lost her mother to lung cancer last summer,” she explains.

Through her fundraising page, Jayne will be raising money to be put towards cancer research – all donations will be given to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and Worldwide Cancer Research.

“When I told my sister what we were planning, she jumped at the chance to come. Cancer research is something close to our hearts as we lost our father to esophageal cancer some years ago,” she says. “My sister and I are aiming to raise $10,000, and so far we have raised $5,600 (and counting!).”

Learn more about Jayne’s fundraising trip at