Sylvester Benson

Current Scholars

Sylvester Benson is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia School of General Studies. Sylvester is passionate about clinical research, addressing health disparities, and social justice advocacy. As an undergraduate researcher at Columbia Neurosurgery and Neuropathology, he studies therapeutic interventions for glioblastomas (GBM), the most aggressive malignant brain tumor in humans. He is also a visiting research scholar at MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Harvard Medical School where he completed research fellowships and internships. In Fall 2020, he was appointed to the Research Cluster in the Historical Study of Race, Inequality, and Health where he researched the socio-cultural and political history of pandemics. Sylvester is a member of Globe-Med at Columbia, the Columbia-Bronx Oncology Living Daily as well as the inaugural cohort of Columbia’s Justice and Pandemics Preparedness Academy. As an RCSS Scholar, Sylvester serves as a coordinator of Columbia's Black Undergraduate Mentorship Program in Biology (BUMP Biology) geared towards supporting black undergraduates in biological and biomedical sciences with scientific research experience and career mentorship. BUMP runs under the auspices of the department of Biological Sciences and the Black Alumni Council and is supported by the Addressing Racism Seed Grant Initiative of the office of Dr. Dennis Mitchell, Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement. In addition to BUMP, Sylvester is also working on Letters To Strangers at Columbia, a newly emerging club, dedicated to supporting individuals struggling with mental health through writing and distribution of heart-felt letters.