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HHMI awards research fellowships to 20 predoctoral students from 14 countries to help them complete their graduate studies in the U.S.
HHMI awards research fellowships to 20 predoctoral students from 14 countries to help them complete their graduate studies in the U.S.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded research fellowships to 20 predoctoral students from 14 countries to help them complete their graduate studies in the United States.

HHMI established the International Student Research Fellowships Program in 2011 to support international students in the U.S. during their third to fifth years of graduate research in the life sciences.

International students in U.S. graduate schools usually are not eligible for federal fellowships or training grant support, or other governmental opportunities that are generally reserved for students who are U.S. citizens.

“It is important that this program not only recognize accomplished students but that it identifies those individuals who have a high potential to make innovative contributions to science in the future," said David Asai, senior director of science education. “We hope that the award will encourage the fellows to be creative and to try out new ideas that might be difficult to pursue without the HHMI fellowship.”

The Institute chose to fund the third to fifth years of graduate school because, by this time, most students have chosen a graduate advisor, identified a research project, and demonstrated their potential for success in the lab.

Students receive $43,000 during each year of the fellowship. HHMI has invested a total of nearly $23.4 million in the program, and is currently supporting 251 students from 47 countries.

The new fellows will study a diverse range of fields, including: antibiotic resistance in the gut, neuronal mechanisms of memory, RNA response to DNA damage, malaria, protein biosynthesis, regulatory code of the human genome, synaptic fusion, and gene overexpression during cancer development.

Seven fellows from this year’s class will conduct research in the labs of current or former HHMI investigators.

Fifty-seven PhD-granting institutions were eligible to nominate graduate students for this year’s fellowships. Three hundred forty-four students submitted applications, which were reviewed by a panel of top scientists and graduate educators. Only institutions currently hosting one or more HHMI Investigators could nominate candidates.

Meet the 2016 International Student Research Fellows:

Name Institution School
Andrés Aranda-Díaz
Stanford University Kerwyn Huang
Felix Baier
Harvard University Hopi Hoekstra*
Levent Beker
University of California-Berkeley Liwei Lin
Clare Burn
New Zealand
Albert Einstein College of Medicine Betsy Herold
Yu-Chieh Chen
University of California-Riverside Anupama Dahanukar
Abigael Cheruiyot
Washington University in St. Louis Zhongsheng You
Victoria Deneke
El Salvador
Duke University Stefano Di Talia
Jiarong Gao
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Phillip Newmark*
Nil Gural
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sangeeta Bhatia*
Shuting Han
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Rafael Yuste+
Hui Jing
Cornell University Hening Lin*
Jean-Benoit Lalanne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gene-Wei Li
Won-Seok Lee
South Korea
Baylor College of Medicine Huda Zoghbi*
Leonardo Minete Cardozo
University of California-San Diego Mark Mayford
Jagruti Pattadkal
University of Texas at Austin Nicholas Priebe
Tippapha Pisithkul
University of Wisconsin-Madison Daniel Amador-Nogues
Julia Samson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Laura Miller
Avanti Shrikumar
Stanford University Anshul Kundaje
Rashmi Voleti
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Jose Rizo-Rey
Xiaowei Yan
University of California-San Francisco Ron Vale*

* HHMI Investigator

+ Investigator Alumni