Summary

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s newly expanded Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study Program has awarded 30 fellowships to outstanding students who are pursuing a PhD in the life sciences and who are committed to increasing diversity among scientists. 

Highlights

  • Each fellow will receive an annual award totaling $43,000, which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance, for up to three years.
  • In previous years of the program, HHMI selected between five and nine Gilliam fellows per year.
  • A total of 119 students applied for the fellowships this year, including 20 EXROP alumni.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s newly expanded Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study Program has awarded 30 fellowships to outstanding students who are pursuing a PhD in the life sciences and who are committed to increasing diversity among scientists.

The awards provide full support to promising students pursuing doctoral degrees in the life sciences. Each fellow will receive an annual award totaling $43,000, which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance, for up to three years. Previously, HHMI selected between five and nine Gilliam fellows per year.

HHMI expanded the program because it felt there was a large need to encourage more PhD students who are committed to diversity. “Our goal is to support the development of extraordinary students who will become scientific leaders and are committed to diversity in the life sciences,” said HHMI President Robert Tjian. “Diversity drives new ideas, and we need new ideas to help us solve many difficult problems in biomedical research.”

HHMI established the Gilliam Fellowships in 2004 in honor of the late James H. Gilliam, Jr., a charter Trustee of the Institute who spent his life nurturing excellence and diversity in science and education.

“We are excited to be able to expand the program to support the training of a greater number of terrific, young scientists,” said Sean B. Carroll, PhD., Vice President for Science Education at HHMI. “We look forward to watching these Gilliam Fellows develop into leading scientists in the years ahead.”

The program’s goal is to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles in science, including college and university faculty who have the responsibility to develop the next generation of scientists. Successful applicants are chosen for their academic excellence, scientific potential, and commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the sciences.

“Not only will we fellows increase the amount of diversity in the science workforce, but we will continue to be strong proponents for diversity for the remainder of our scientific careers,” said Simone White, an awardee at Cornell University. “The Gilliam Fellowship will give us the means to obtain our degrees and become diverse leaders in science, so we can continue to promote diversity to the broader scientific community.”

In addition to financial support, fellows also attend meetings with HHMI scientists and receive professional development mentoring as they launch their academic careers.

All of the previous Gilliam fellows were alumni of HHMI’s Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP), an initiative that provides undergraduate minority students with the opportunity to conduct research under the mentorship of HHMI scientists.

As part of the program’s expansion, HHMI broadened the application pool to include graduate students nominated by the principal investigators of non-MSTP T32 training grants awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

A total of 119 students applied for the fellowships this year, including 20 EXROP alumni. The new 2015 Gilliam fellows, their institutions, and advisors are:

Student Institution Advisor
Adebola Adeniran Northwestern University Keith Tyo
Biafra Ahanonu Stanford University Mark Schnitzer*
Raymundo Alfaro-Aco Princeton University Sabine Petry
Jonathan Asfaha University of California, San Francisco David Morgan
Kwabena Badu-Nkansah Duke University Terry Lechler
Diego Baptista Harvard Medical School Gerhard Wagner
Jacob Borrajo+ Massachusetts Institute of Technology Paul Blainey
Christopher Craddock University of Chicago Jonathan Staley
Daniel Ehrens Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Christophe Jouny
Kiara Eldred Johns Hopkins University Robert Johnston
Gabriela Fernandez-Cuervo University of Arizona Mark Pagel
Phillip Geter New York University School of Medicine Robert Schneider
Elizabeth Gichana University of Michigan Charles Brooks
Anastassia Gomez University of California, San Diego Navtej Toor
Abigail Groff+ Harvard University John Rinn
Kevin Hartman University of California, San Francisco Ryan Hernandez
Keywan Johnson+ University of Rochester Daniel Weix
Mitchell Lee University of Washington School of Medicine Matt Kaeberlein
Anthony Mangan University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine Rytis Prekeris
Sterling Martin University of Wisconsin-Madison Jeff Hardin
Temet McMichael Ohio State University Jacob Yount
Patrick Menzies University of California, San Diego JoAnn Trejo
Claudio Morales-Perez University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Ryan Hibbs
Kwadwo Opoku-Nsiah+ University of California, San Francisco Jason Gestwicki
Jessica Perez-Cunningham University of California, Santa Cruz Camilla Forsberg
Joan Pulupa Rockefeller University Sanford Simon
Melissa Sandoval University of California, San Francisco Daniel Hart
Simone White Cornell University Mariana Wolfner
Katie Yang University of Wisconsin-Madison Michelle Ciucci
Valerie Zabala Brown University Philip Gruppuso

+ EXROP Alum

* HHMI Investigator

For More Information

Jim Keeley 301.215.8858 keeleyj@hhmi.org