Summary

As the academic year winds down, 112 medical, dental, and veterinary students are preparing to meet a new challenge: A year in a laboratory that will hone their scientific skills and prepare them for possible careers in research.

Even as the academic year winds down, 112 medical, dental, and veterinary students are preparing to meet a new challenge: A year in a laboratory that will hone their scientific skills and prepare them for possible careers in research.

The students, drawn from 44 different institutions around the nation, will work in laboratories at either the National Institutes of Health or a research university they select as part of a $4 million initiative supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“These students may one day help translate scientific discoveries into important new treatments and diagnostic tools,” says HHMI President Robert Tjian. “We hope this opportunity to work in a lab will encourage them to choose a career in research.”

Over the last 25 years, more than 2,000 medical, dental, or veterinary students have participated in either the HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program or the HHMI Research Training Fellowships Program. “These programs give the students a chance to immerse themselves in research,” says Peter J. Bruns, HHMI’s vice president for grants and special programs. “For many, this will be a pivotal experience that helps them decide whether to pursue a career in research.”

The HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program and the HHMI Research Training Fellowships Program reflect the Institute’s long-standing commitment to medical education and the specific goal of expanding the cadre of physicians and other professionals who combine clinical activities with laboratory research. Beyond these two initiatives, HHMI provides grants to jump-start the careers of physician-scientist alumni of the programs and supports medical training for basic science graduate students through the Med Into Grad Program.

Researchers who bridge the gap between clinical medicine and basic science are in a unique position to exploit the expanding knowledge of the human genome and other recent advances to make discoveries that will improve human health. The range of possible research areas is immense. Emerging areas include technologies for biomedical imaging; identification and use of markers of disease progression, and discovery of new molecular targets for possible therapeutic agents. Yet the number of individuals who actually pursue careers that combine laboratory research and clinical care has remained flat, despite the unprecedented opportunity for translating basic science discoveries into clinical treatments.

“Students who apply to the scholars and fellows programs recognize the increasing importance of science—and research—for the practicing physician, dentist, or veterinarian,” says William Galey, director of HHMI’s graduate and medical education program.

The programs are open to medical, dental, and veterinary students enrolled in U.S. schools. This year, 359 students applied, most of whom had completed two years in their program. Galey says that working in a lab full time will give the students a chance to experience what biomedical research is like and decide whether they want to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. And many do: Nearly 45 percent of alumni are still doing research 15 years or more after participating in the HHMI scholars or fellows programs.

“The number of alumni who choose to pursue a Ph.D. after participating in the programs is increasing,” Galey says. “A lot of the students probably didn’t have any idea they were going to do research before this experience, and a year in the lab really does build their excitement, but even those who don’t choose to pursue research will be better prepared for 21st century medicine after working in the lab.”

HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program

The HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program was established in 1985 to encourage medical students to pursue research by allowing them to take a year off from their medical studies. and the program has since been expanded to include dental and veterinary students. It has brought more than 900 students to work in NIH labs.

Students selected as research scholars often enter the program with only a general idea of what type of research they would like to do. During their first few weeks, they are encouraged to visit several of the more than 1,100 laboratories at NIH before choosing which project to pursue under the guidance of an NIH mentor. The students are sometimes called “cloister scholars” because they live in apartments or dorm-style rooms in a refurbished cloister on the NIH campus in Bethesda.

This year, 42 students from 24 medical schools, two dental schools, and one veterinary school were chosen as research scholars.

HHMI Research Training Fellowships Program
The HHMI Research Training Fellowships Program allows medical, dental, and veterinary students to pursue biomedical research at a laboratory anywhere in the United States except the NIH campus in Bethesda. Each student submits a research plan to work in a specific lab with a mentor they have identified. Since 1989, more than 1,100 students have participated.

This year, 70 students from 26 medical schools and one dental school were chosen as research training fellows. While most students elect to stay at their home institution to do their research, this year 10 fellows will work in labs at a different school. Their research topics encompass tuberculosis, breast cancer, and stem cells, among other topics.

For the first time, HHMI has joined in a partnership with the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation (www.ivyfoundation.org) to support four HHMI-Ivy research training fellows who are doing research on glioma, a deadly and incurable brain cancer. The Ivy Foundation is focused on developing better diagnostics and treatments for patients with gliomas. “We are partnering where we have overlapping interests: training the next generation of physician scientists,” Bruns says.

Rob Tufel, executive director of the Ivy Foundation, agrees. “This partnership will help train tomorrow’s clinicians and scientists to meet one of the greatest challenges facing researchers today: improving the survival and quality of life for patients with brain tumors.”

HHMI is one of the world's largest philanthropies, with laboratories across the United States and grants programs throughout the world. The Institute is a nonprofit medical research organization that employs hundreds of leading biomedical scientists working at the forefront of their fields. In addition, through its grants program and other activities, HHMI is helping to enhance science education at all levels and maintain the vigor of biomedical science worldwide. Its headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

2009-2010 HHMI-NIH Research Scholars

Name School
Kalil G. Abdullah Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Adedamola O. Adepoju University of Massachusetts Medical School
Leopold Arko University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Musaddiq J. Awan University of Maryland School of Medicine
Bietel W. Belay University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
Judith A. Briant Weill Cornell Medical College
Casey A. Cable Florida State University College of Medicine
Elizabeth S. Clark University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine
Benjamin R. Cohen The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Mausam Damani David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Maxime Debrosse Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Ananth S. Eleswarapu University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Elissa M. Furutani Dartmouth Medical School
Iulia Giuroiu David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Uma Goyal University of Arizona College of Medicine
Theresa Guo Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Caitlin Hicks Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Mengjun Hu Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Emily F. Kauvar University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
Daniel King Wayne State University School of Medicine
Elliott D. Kozin University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Courtney W. Mangus Wayne State University School of Medicine
Raymond V. Mirasol University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Yasunori Nagahama State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Lisa M. Niswander University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Aleksey A. Novikov The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Chirayu G. Patel The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Manu S. Raam Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
Hema L. Ramkumar Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Bobby Y. Reddy University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School
Julia K. Rotow David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Urvi Ruparelia Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Vishal Saxena The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Matan I. Setton Duke University School of Medicine
Jacob E. Shabason University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Rajiv T. Sivendran Duke University School of Medicine
Jane C. Stieber University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Randa Tao Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Yaqing Wen Duke University School of Medicine
David S. Xu Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Geoffrey B. Yang Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Anne Zhuang Duke University School of Medicine

2009-2010 Research Training Fellows

Name School Fellowship Institution
Jonathan S. Adelstein New York University School of Medicine New York University School of Medicine
Jonathan Beus Emory University School of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine
Ian A. Buchanan Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Julia C. Carnevale Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Rebekah J. Cawley The Ohio State University College of Medicine The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Jaidip Chakravartti New York University School of Medicine New York University School of Medicine
Christine Cho University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
William L. Clifton Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine
Gregory Cvetanovich Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Jonathan D. Dewey* Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Sonia Dutta New York University School of Medicine Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Aaron C. Eifler Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
John W. Evankovich University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Navid Ezra David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Alexander C. Fanaroff Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Christopher M. Fung University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Rodney A. Gabriel University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Ari Geliebter Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Sara Gonias University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
John R. Gonzales Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine
Jacqueline J. Greene University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
Stacy L. Greeter University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Yoon K. Han David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Jamie Harrington Yale School of Medicine Yale School of Medicine
Justin D. Hilliard University of Virginia School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Mariko L. Howe Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Cedric L. Hunter Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Taha A. Jan Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Xiaoming S. Jia Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Lora Kahn University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Ari Kane* University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Jesse J. Keller University of Washington School of Medicine University of Washington School of Medicine
Brian P. Kelley Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine
Howard Kim Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Amar U. Kishan Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Matthew J. Kole Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine
Rahi Kumar University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Debbie Kuo University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Andrew S. Lee Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Victoria Lyo University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Harrison Mackler Harvard School of Dental Medicine Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Jolene R. Mariotti The Ohio State University College of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Nicholas M. Maurice University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Agnieszka Milczarek Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Ezra Mirvish University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Nisha Mukherjee Duke University School of Medicine Harvard Medical School
Kazim Narsinh University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Michael A. Paolini Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine
Suha J. Patel University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Daniel A. Perez University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Patrick G. Pilie Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Shanti M. Pinto University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Stacey L. Poloskey Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Camille E. Powe Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Pearl N.K. Quartey Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University University of Chicago
Karen Revere University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
June-Wha Rhee Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Zain H. Rizvi Wayne State University School of Medicine University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Pavel Rodriguez Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Hersh Sagreiya Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Stephen M. Schleicher* Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Neda I. Sedora-Roman University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Bryan J. Simmons Duke University School of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine
Chad Tang Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Ameet I. Thaker Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Diane Tseng Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine
Andrew M. Vahabzadeh-Hagh Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Chi-fu J. Yang Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School
Qingyang Yuan* The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
* HHMI-Ivy Research Training Fellows

For More Information

Jim Keeley 301.215.8858 keeleyj@hhmi.org