The Dale and Deborah Smith Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment honors their longstanding employee, Samuel "Sam" McFadden, with the creation of this research fund. Fighting a brain tumor since 2014 and combating it with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, Sam was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor) in June 2023. Sam’s dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and his desire to continue to support up and coming researchers will be honored through this fund to support graduate student research in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Sam received his Master of Science (MS) degree in Biology in 2015 from Illinois State University. He started at SIU School of Medicine on March 16, 2015, in Dr. Andrzej Bartke’s lab as a Researcher I. Sam worked there until joining the Hascup Labs on January 1, 2019, as a Researcher II and has since been promoted within to Research Laboratory Coordinator. Sam is a valued member of the Hascup Labs’ team and a wonderful individual beyond his dedication to SIU.
Sam's interest in Dr. Erin Hascup's research began during his initial months as an employee with SIU School of Medicine: “I was very interested in [Dr. Hascup's] research as my grandfather passed due to Alzheimer’s. I always enjoyed research because whenever I would look at my results, I knew I was probably the only person or one of the few that knew that piece of information. I loved that I had a sense that I was advancing our knowledge of the disease every day I went to work.”
“I also loved the team aspect of science, that people with different backgrounds can be part of a cohesive team just based on the love of a subject and understanding of the scientific process. I felt that SIU encouraged that type of environment.”
Sam and his wife Jaclyn have been married for 7 years and reside in Springfield. They have two young children and another baby due in December.