Climb 4 Kidney Cancer Scholars 2019

In 2019 your donations funded four Climb 4 Kidney Cancer Scholarships!
Meet the C4KC scholars below.

Zach Edgerton

Zach grew up in Hermantown, MN, just outside of Duluth. He has two siblings, an older sister who is a doctor, and a younger brother who is going into law. He enjoys playing hockey, golfing, reading, camping, hiking, and hopelessly cheering for the Vikings.

He became interested in medicine while volunteering in a hospital while in college in Chicago. While in his gap year, he began working with a urologist in Duluth who inspired his interest in the kidney and its surgical treatments. The doctor helped show Zach the growing need for research into the often forgotten, growing issue of kidney cancer, and that interest has stuck with him.

As a C4KC scholar, Zach and the team imported individual CT scans and manually segmented the Abdominal kidney cancer and cysts. The computer could then overlay the two images to identify what healthy tissue looked like compared to a tumor. With this information, an artificial intelligence program was used to analyze several properties of the tumor, and then predict with growing accuracy the likely postoperative outcome based on the R.E.N.A.L. score. Thus far, their research has been published/presented at AUA, the Engineering in Urology Society, European Urology Society, Medical Imaging Analysis, and at the annual meeting of ASCO.

C4KC funding made the entire project possible. It was able to provide the resources they needed to make advancements in the field of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancers. It is their hope that the research that this funding has made possible will go on to help improve outcomes in patients around the world. Their research will help physicians determine the best course of action when it comes to patients with kidney cancer. This resource will help ensure to a greater degree that the plan for the care of kidney cancer patients is the right one for the individual patient, improving their outcomes and quality of life moving forward.

He cannot express enough how much your donations have meant to their program and to the field of medicine in general. Thanks to your generosity, they are developing software that can improve patient outcomes and extend life expectancy for countless people in the future. Thank you so much for your contribution to medical advancement.



Ranveer Vasdev

Ranveer family is originally from East Africa, India, and England but he was born and raised in Rochester, MN! Before coming to the U for Medical School, he studied Music Performance and Neurobiology at UW Madison! In his spare time, he plays and teach music, lift weights, and play with his two Shih Tzus!

In high school, he thought he wanted to become a professional bassoonist and perform in an orchestra. But that didn’t last long! After playing music for patients in his freshman year of undergrad, he quickly became very interested in medicine and, subsequently, biomedical research. He is specifically interested in studying kidney cancer because it’s the perfect blend of purpose driven clinical research, cutting edge technology, and community engagement through the Climb 4 Kidney Cancer organization!

As a C4KC scholar, his research was to manually segmented Abdominal CT kidney cancer and cysts using available images. The fundamental goal is to use machine learning to better diagnose kidney cancer. For the average patient, this means a more accurate and, potentially, earlier diagnosis and prognosis. This information can better guide treatment and potential to improve the quality of life for patients with kidney cancer.

Thank you so much for supporting our research!



Sarah Peterson

Sarah became interested in medicine after taking a Human Medicine course in high school and discovering her fascination with the human body. Kidney cancer specifically interests her because of its increasing prevalence in the United States and the ever-growing pool of research about treatment options.

She enjoys hiking, baking, and making music in her free time.

As a C4KC scholar, Sarah participated in the conduction of a literature review which was made possible by the C4KC funding. Without the funding, she would have been unable to spend so much time devoted to this work. She thinks this research will make the diagnosis of kidney cancer faster and more efficient in the future. Which will hopefully lead to patients easily understanding their condition and treatment methods, making the treatment and recovery process less stressful.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to conduct this research. Without the C4KC funding, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in such meaningful work.





Sean Thomas McSweeney

Sean grew up in Burnsville, MN and attended UW-Madison for undergrad (Go badgers!!). In his free time he likes to spend time with his friends and family, staying active by going to the gym, watching sports, and reading. His friends and he were on a hot-streak of trivia wins this summer, so he’d like to continue that going into the fall.

He loves the continuous learning that you get from medicine. We are constantly improving our techniques and practices, while using cutting edge technology to help improve the health and lives of patients. Kidney cancer is becoming more common, especially in younger adults. He likes the challenge of finding new approaches and therapies to treat kidney cancer, while also addressing modifiable risk factors causing the increase in kidney cancer cases.

As a C4KC scholar, he was involved in the current research using artificial intelligence algorithm to predict pathological characteristics such as if a tumor is cancerous or not. It provided him with a great summer research opportunity after his first year of medical school, and C4KC research fellowship encouraged him to pursue a career where he would perform medical research.

Thank you so much for donating to such a wonderful cause, and making the fascinating research I’m involved in possible!