30 New Clinical Research Fellows at NIH Announced

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected 30 medical and dental students representing 19 different U.S. schools for its 15th class of fellows in the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP).

The 12-month educational experience, conducted at NIH and funded by Pfizer Inc through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), begins in July.

Each year, the program provides creative, research-oriented medical and dental students hand-on experience in clinical and translational research at NIH. The students, who are taking a year away from their studies for a year of academic enrichment, work with NIH investigators who serve as research mentors. In addition to conducting and collaborating in active research projects, the CRTP fellows attend clinical rounds, courses and seminars and present their research findings to the NIH community and at various conferences.

Since the program began in 1997, 340 students representing 87 schools have joined the CRTP. This year's participants were selected from an extremely competitive pool of 141 applicants, which is a record. This year's group includes, for the first time, students from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division at the Pritzker School of Medicine, and New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology.

Selected for 2011-2012 are:

Benjamin Cherry and Ian Thompson from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; George Cater from Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University; Lauren Sanchez, Mariam Totonchy, and Sophia Yu from David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles; Tiffany Anaebere, Brandon Baird, Sydney Chang, Elizabeth Hicks, Jennifer Ho, Kimberly Imbesi, and Jennifer Vogel from Duke University School of Medicine; Eunice Yang from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Kristin Huntoon from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology; Nitin Yerram from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Alexander Claussen from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine; Dmitry Volkin from SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine at Brooklyn; Jenna Kahn from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Helen Fassil and Jeffrey Tsai from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; John Baird from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine; William Babbitt from University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; Mei Zhou from University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division at the Pritzker School of Medicine; Tasha Lin from University of Michigan College of Human Medicine; Stephanie Bissonnette from University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine; Lauren Anderson from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; Odette Williams from Weill Cornell Medical College; Sarah Johnson and Soledad Jorge from Yale University School of Medicine.

CRTP is one of the premier public-private partnerships at the FNIH. Since 1998, the program has had support from Pfizer Inc through grants to the FNIH as part of Pfizer's commitment to public-private partnerships. Additional support from the NIH Common Fund was provided starting in 2004 to increase the CRTP class size to 30 participants, and the goal is to sustain this class size.

Founded in 1887, the National Institutes of Health is the nation's primary agency for conducting and supporting medical research to improve health. Comprising 27 separate institutes and centers, NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability, from the rarest genetic disorder to the common cold. The mission is carried out by investigators conducting research in laboratories at NIH and through grants to scientists in universities, medical schools, hospitals, and research institutions throughout the country and abroad. An important NIH focus is training the next generation of research investigators through programs such as these fellowships for medical and dental students. Sixteen participants from the CRTP have returned to NIH for further training and experience as postdoctoral fellows.
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