HomeNewsSeventy Medical Research Fellows to Embark on a Year in the Lab

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Seventy Medical Research Fellows to Embark on a Year in the Lab

Summary

Seventy medical and veterinary students from 37 different schools across the country will be engaging in laboratory research for a full year as participants in the HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program.

 

Highlights

  • The fellows take a break from their medical courses, and spend the year conducting basic, translational or applied biomedical research. The program has funded more than 1,500 students since its start in 1989.
  • This year, HHMI received 191 fellowship applications from students representing 68 institutions.
  • A record 10 fellows will be funded by HHMI Medical Fellows Program partner organizations this year. 

Seventy of the nation’s top medical and veterinary students have been selected to participate in the 26th class of the HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program, a $2.8 million annual initiative to increase the training of future physician-scientists. The students will put their medical studies on hold for one year to conduct intensive, mentored biomedical research at 32 fellowship institutions across the country.

This year, HHMI received 191 fellowship applications from students representing 68 institutions. Each applicant was required to submit a research plan to work in a specific lab with a mentor they had identified.

“Most medical students have worked in labs for one to three months at a time. Just as they start to make progress in their project, they leave the laboratory to return to their studies,” said Helen Hobbs, an HHMI investigator at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, who mentored a medical fellow in her lab over the last year.

Having a year to work exclusively in the laboratory without other distractions provides the student with sufficient time to experience the satisfactions and frustrations of being a scientist. They have time to establish meaningful relationships with the research team and to experience the culture of laboratory science.

Helen Hobbs, HHMI investigator

“Having a year to work exclusively in the laboratory without other distractions provides the student with sufficient time to experience the satisfactions and frustrations of being a scientist. They have time to establish meaningful relationships with the research team and to experience the culture of laboratory science,” said Hobbs. Hobbs mentored student, Rima Chakrabarti, who said her year in the program has been invaluable. “Not only did I experience the scientific rigor and critical thinking required to establish a biological assay, but I also learned the value of persevering to reach an end goal in lab.”

Under Hobbs’s guidance, Chakrabarti is studying the molecular basis of heritable diseases. She has been awarded a second year of funding in the program to continue her research before returning to medical school.“The second year will be instrumental in teaching me how to think independently about scientific questions and to bring my project to a point where it can be submitted for publication and used by other investigators. Ultimately, it will prepare me to pursue a physician-scientist training pathway after medical school and one day run a successful lab,” said Chakrabarti.

Seventeen fellows will do research in the labs of HHMI scientists, and two will spend the year with researchers at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

The HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program allows medical, dental, and veterinary students to pursue biomedical research at academic or nonprofit research institutions anywhere in the United States except the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland or other federal agencies. The fellows take a break from their medical courses, and spend the year conducting basic, translational or applied biomedical research. The program has funded more than 1,500 students since its start in 1989.

Two fellows will work with investigators at the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH), in Durban, South Africa, a collaborative partnership between HHMI and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. K-RITH’s mission is to conduct outstanding basic science research on tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, translate the scientific findings into new tools to control TB and HIV, and expand the educational opportunities in the region.

A record 10 fellows will be funded by HHMI Medical Fellows Program partner organizations this year: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF), the Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation (SIRF), K-RITH, and three new partners–the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), and the American Gastroenterological Association Institute (AGA).

Five students will be funded for a second year in the program, including two supported by funding partners BWF and FFB.

“My experience as a medical fellow has solidified my desire to become a physician-scientist at the forefront of discovering and implementing new strategies for treating cancer,” said Nan Guo, a year-long medical fellow in Irving Weissman’s lab at Stanford University School of Medicine. She also plans to continue her research for a second year.

“The Weissman lab is currently in the process of initiating the very first in human clinical trials for CD47/SIRPalpha targeting agents, and an extra year would give me the rare and invaluable opportunity to participate in this process. I also hope to advance and expand upon my own work in exploring a new class of agents against cancer,” said Guo.

First-year medical, dental, and veterinary students had an opportunity to apply for the Summer Medical Fellows Program, an initiative developed by HHMI two years ago. Fifty-two students applied for the summer program this year, and 36 were selected. They will spend 8-10 weeks conducting research in HHMI labs at 24 fellowship institutions across the country. The goal of the program is to encourage the students to continue in research, including applying for the year-long Medical Fellows Program. 

HHMI investigator David Ginsburg will mentor a summer medical fellow at the University of Michigan.

“As a physician-scientist myself, I feel an obligation to training the next generation, particularly at a time when fewer and fewer physicians are maintaining a connection to the lab,” he said.

2014-2015 Medical Research Fellows
Name Fellowship Institution School
Kareem Alazem Cleveland Clinic Foundation Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Leonel Ampie Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Medical Center Georgetown University School of Medicine

Adrian Au
Funder: FFB

Cleveland Clinic Foundation Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Evan Bander Weill Cornell Medical College Weill Cornell Medical College
Geetha Bhagavatula University of Washington George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
John Bui University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Brandyn Castro University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine
Angela Chang California Institute of Technology University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Lucy Cheng David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
Christopher Clark Harvard Medical School Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine
Benjamin Cocanougher Janelia Farm Research Campus University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Fernanda Delgado Harvard Medical School University of Washington School of Medicine
Tru-Khang Dinh Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Harib Ezaldein Yale School of Medicine Yale School of Medicine
Christopher Fan Harvard Medical School Duke University School of Medicine

Peter Finin
Funder: K-RITH

K-RITH University of Michigan Medical School

David Fischer
Funder: PDF

Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Megan Garland Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Philip Gastrell Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Benson George Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Jacob Goldberg University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Lauren Griggs
Funder: BWF

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Allison Hamilos Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
David Huang Massachusetts Institute of Technology The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
George Huang Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Michael Hughes Baylor College of Medicine University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Syed Khalid The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Sattar Khoshkhoo
Funder: CURE

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Jennifer Kim The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Young Jin Kim Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Adam Kundishora
Funder: CURE

Yale School of Medicine Yale School of Medicine
Jacob Kushkuley University of Massachusetts Medical School University of Massachusetts Medical School

Vinicius Ladeira Craveiro
Funder: OREF

Hospital for Special Surgery Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Young Lee The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Ann Liu The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Wake Forest School of Medicine of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Shawn Loder University of Michigan Medical School University of Michigan Medical School
Elizabeth Mathieu University of Wisconsin-Madison University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Raaj Mehta
Funder: AGA

Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Clinton Morgan Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Brian Nuyen University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
Daniel Oh Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Michael Oh Yale School of Medicine Yale School of Medicine
Patricia Ojeda The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
Ryan Park Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Kunal Patel University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College
Mira Patel The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Stephanie Patterson Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Daniel Pipilas Northwestern University, The Feinberg School of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Avanthi Raghavan Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Katherine Ransohoff Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Anne Rohlfing Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Zahra Sayyid Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Udit Singhal University of Michigan Medical School Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Jeffrey SoRelle University of Texas Southwestern Medical School University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Jessica St. Laurent University of Washington Tufts University School of Medicine
Tin-Yun Tang Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Montreh Tavakkoli Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Madina Tugizova Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Chioma Udemgba Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Aaron Vassall Yale School of Medicine Yale School of Medicine

Erik Velez
Funder: SIRF

Harvard Medical School University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Qing Yu Weng Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Danielle Wickman K-RITH David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Julia Wiedmeier Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine University of Utah School of Medicine
Nasser Yaghi University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Baylor College of Medicine
Wai-Ying Yau University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Zachary Yochum University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Hosniya Zarabi Janelia Farm Research Campus Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Andrew Zheng
Funder: FFB

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Jeffrey Zimering Harvard Medical School University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2013-2014 Medical Research Fellows funded for a second year in the program

Name Fellowship Institution School
Katie Anderson
Funder: BWF
University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
Rima Chakrabarti  University of Texas Southwestern Medical School University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Erika Ellis
Funder: FFB
Janelia Farm Research Campus University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
Nan Guo Stanford University School of Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Jong Park Harvard Medical School Duke University School of Medicine

For More Information

Jim Keeley
[ 301-215-8858 ]
Robert Gutnikoff
[ 301-215-8627 ]