NIH announces 2017-2018 Medical Research Scholars Program Class


The National Institutes of Health has selected 42 talented and diverse students, representing 35 U.S.-accredited universities, for the sixth class of its Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP).

 The MRSP received a record number of applications during the 2017-2018 application cycle. The 42 selected participants consist of 39 medical, two dental, and one veterinary student; 48 percent are female and eight individuals are from underrepresented minority groups. There are five second year, 35 third, and two fourth year students in the class; six of the 42 have had previous NIH research experience. The accepted scholars begin their MRSP fellowship in July/August of this year. 

The NIH MRSP is a year-long enrichment program which provides mentored training to creative, research-oriented medical, dental, and veterinary students at the intramural campus of the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. This residential program enables scholars to conduct basic, clinical, or translational research in areas that match their personal interests and research goals. The mentored research training experience forms the core of the program and allows these future clinician-scientists and medical researchers to carry out research across the full spectrum of science in the interest of improving public health.

Additionally, over the course of the academic year, MRSP scholars participate in courses, journal club seminars, a structured lecture series, and clinical teaching rounds. They also present their research to the NIH community and at domestic professional conferences.“This year-long research enrichment program is the starting point for a successful research-oriented career. These 42 scholars represent some of this country’s most promising future biomedical researchers and academic leaders,” said Frederick P. Ognibene, M.D., director of the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH Clinical Center.

Each scholar is assigned a tutor/advisor, who provides guidance in defining a well-articulated career development plan and in selecting a dedicated NIH research mentor. Mentors are fulltime NIH investigators with established basic, clinical or translational research programs.

The MRSP is co-sponsored by the NIH and other partners via contributions to the Foundation for the NIH.

The 42 participants for the 2017-2018 NIH MRSP include:

  1. Mairead Baker, Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
  2. Fatima Barragan, Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, East Lansing
  3. Jennifer Bayly, Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey
  4. Jacqueline Boyle, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria
  5. Rebecca Breese, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  6. Sonny Caplash, the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington
  7. Katherine Chen, the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine
  8. Sophie Claudel, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  9. Shavonne Collins, Meharry Medical College, Nashville
  10. Shazia Dharssi, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore
  11. Joshua Diamond, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville
  12. Youssef Elnabawi, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston
  13. Joseph Featherall, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
  14. Kathleen Fenerty, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  15. Samuel Gold, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine, Brooklyn
  16. Morgan Graves, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  17. Jacob Groenendyk, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis
  18. Russ Guidry, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans
  19. Graham Hale, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
  20. Christopher Hampton, the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington
  21. Belen Hernandez, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Fort Collins
  22. Christopher Hogden, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City
  23. Tommy Hu, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey
  24. Eileen Hu-Wang, Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago
  25. Sahar Khan, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University
  26. Alyssa Kosturakis, the University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio
  27. Jason Lau, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
  28. Andrew Lum, Tufts University School of Dental