Shelly Peyton, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at UMass Amherst, is one of 22 researchers who have been named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The scholarships provide flexible funding to early career scientists researching the basis of perplexing health problems—including diabetes, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. Pew scholars receive $240,000 over four years to pursue their projects without direction or restriction. Peyton says her research under the Pew program involves investigating how stem cells contribute to the metastatic spread of breast cancer. She says other scientists are also investigating this same problem, but primarily from the standpoint that stem cells might hijack the immune system, helping to protect cancer cells from being detected by the body.