Student's passion to help others fuels cancer research

July 31, 2018 | George Mattingly II

Student's passion to help others fuels cancer research

As a combat medic in the Army, Alfred Mimms climbed Tiefort Peak in the Mojave Desert. “I knew then that if I could climb this mountain and reach the top, then I could do anything,” he said.

The experience was a catalyst to help him build the confidence to overcome challenges in all areas of his life. When his mother, aunt and young cousin were all diagnosed with different forms of cancer, he decided to meet the challenge by making medical research his life’s purpose.=

After searching for the right place to pursue his passion, he found University of Houston-Clear Lake, and knew it was the best fit for him.

“I knew the research being done at UH-Clear Lake would help families like mine,” Mimms said.

Now, as an undergraduate researcher, he is collaborating with Associate Professor of Biology and Biotechnology Larry Rohde to make breakthroughs in cancer research. Using state-of-the-art equipment, they are studying how human cells react under cancerous conditions with the ultimate goal of fortifying the cells against cancer. It’s work that Mimms knows will have a major impact on the future of cancer research.

“I want to help people, like my family, who are badly affected by cancer,” he said. “My goal is to be on the front lines helping to develop the cures that save peoples’ lives.”

Learn more about degrees in biology and biotechnology at UHCL by visiting