Summary

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded grants to 45 doctoral student-adviser pairs to support the development of their scientific leadership and commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the sciences.

A new group of graduate students and their advisers is joining the drive to increase diversity and inclusion in science.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded 2018 Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study to 45 doctoral student-adviser pairs from across the country. All have demonstrated high promise to become leaders in their fields, says David Asai, HHMI’s senior director for science education.

“These are incredibly talented young scientists with the desire to become college and university faculty, where they will help shape the next generation students,” Asai says.

The Gilliam program aims to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is prepared to assume leadership roles in science, he explains. HHMI is taking a two-pronged approach: supporting promising graduate students from groups that are underrepresented in science and helping their thesis advisers build inclusive training environments.

Each pair will receive an annual award totaling $50,000 – which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance – for up to three years. Fellows’ thesis advisers will participate in a year of mentor development activities, including online training and two in-person workshops at HHMI headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Effective mentoring is crucial for supporting the growth of a student’s research and professional skills, Asai says. What’s more, improving a scientist’s mentoring abilities has an amplifying effect: “Every student currently in the mentor’s lab, and every future student, can benefit,” he says.

For the first time since the program began in 2004, a portion of the annual award will support activities designed to foster diversity and inclusion in the mentors’ labs and departments. Applicants proposed some creative ideas, including partnering with their departments to impact faculty hiring practices and holding symposia that include speakers from underrepresented backgrounds. Such conferences “will show students that successful scientists don’t all look the same,” Asai says.

“These are incredibly talented young scientists with the desire to become college and university faculty, where they will help shape the next generation students.”

David Asai, HHMI’s senior director for science education

HHMI created the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study in honor of the late James H. Gilliam Jr. A charter trustee of HHMI, Gilliam was a respected business and civic leader who spent his life nurturing excellence and diversity in science and education.

This year, HHMI received 231 applications for Gilliam Fellowships. Selection criteria include nominating materials from the student’s university, the student’s research proposal, a leadership statement, a letter of recommendation, and the adviser’s mentoring plan and proposal for a diversity and inclusion activity.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in their second or third year of a PhD program in biomedical or life sciences disciplines, but not in an MD/PhD program. Students must be eligible for grants awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and must be from racial, ethnic, or other underrepresented groups in the sciences or be alumni of the HHMI EXROP program. Students also must aspire to careers in academic science and demonstrate a commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the sciences.


2018 Gilliam Fellows

Fellows

Institutions

Thesis Advisers

Emily Ackerman University of Pittsburgh Jason Shoemaker
Megan Agajanian University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ben Major
Shanique Alabi Yale University Craig Crews
Marcus Alvarez University of California, Los Angeles Paivi Pajukanta
Angelo Andres University of Kansas Blake Peterson
Raquel Aragon University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine Luisa Iruela-Arispe
Aleena Arakaki University of California, San Diego Medical Center JoAnn Trejo
Luendreo Barboza New York University Cristina Alberini
Isle Bastille Harvard University Chenghua Gu
Jessie Benedict Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine David Linden
Abraham Beyene University of California, Berkeley Markita Landry
Amanda Bradley University of Washington Medical Center Richard Gardner
Jordan Brown Vanderbilt University School of Medicine J. David Sweatt
Taylor Brown University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine Elissa Hallem
Amber Caldara Emory University School of Medicine Andrew Kowalczyk
Francis Cambronero Vanderbilt University Medical Center Angela Jefferson
Kate Cavanaugh University of Chicago Margaret Gardel
Sergio Cepeda University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Ann Griffith
Monica Cesinger University of Washington Medical Center Houra Merrikh
Lars Clark Harvard Medical School Jonathan Abraham
Willow Coyote-Maestas University of Minnesota Twin Cities Daniel Schmidt
Abel Ferrel Stanford University John Boothroyd
Erik Gonzalez-Leon University of California, Irvine Kyriacos Athanasiou
Sara Haile Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Cynthia Wolberger
Cody Hernandez University of Chicago Jonathan Staley
Cherice Hughes-Oliver Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Robin Queen
Brittany Johnson University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Russell DeBose-Boyd
Matias Kaplan Stanford University Christina Smolke
Jessica Kohn Columbia University Rudy Behnia
Juanita Limas University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine Jeanette Cook
Jose Llongueras Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Frank Bosmans
Jeremy Lomax Brown University Elizabeth Brainerd
Naomi Lopez Caraballo New York University School of Medicine Robert Froemke
Jessica Ochoa University of California, Los Angeles Todd Yeates
Tolu Omokehinde Vanderbilt University Medical Center Rachelle Johnson
Gian Carlo Parico University of California, Santa Cruz Carrie Partch
Susana Restrepo University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine Jason Aoto
Jaime Reyes Baylor College of Medicine Margaret Goodell
Stefany Rubio University of California, Santa Cruz Lindsay Hinck
Lauren Thurlow University of California, Los Angeles Tracy Johnson
Miriam Van Dyke Emory University School of Public Health Tene Lewis
Cesar Vargas Rockefeller University Erich Jarvis
Charles Washington University of Chicago Carole Ober
Patricka Williams-Simon University of Missouri-Columbia Elizabeth King
Kurtresha Worden University of California, Berkeley Kaoru Saijo

For More Information

Meghan Rosen 301-215-8859 rosenm2@hhmi.org