Dr Sandeep Kishore, 30, a student in the tri-institutional MD-PhD programme, has been awarded one of two 2012 Raymond W Sarber Awards from the American Society for Microbiology. These awards, established in honour of Sarber for his contributions to the growth and advancement of the Society, recognize students for research excellence and potential at both the undergraduate and pre-doctoral levels.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-born Kishore, currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, received the award for his research and educational achievements as a pre-doctoral student at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr Carl Nathan, chairman and professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and professor of Medicine and the R A Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, lauded Kishore as "a rare individual who is utterly devoted to good causes, singularly effective, everywhere at once, and leaves behind whirlwinds of activity that would otherwise not have stirred but once launched are self-sustaining."
"This kind award from the ASM gives great recognition to re-marrying the social and biomedical determinants of health -- and gives great value to the world's trainees keen to re-imagine health this century," said Kishore in an interview.
In 2006, Kishore developed and co-taught an elective curriculum at Weill Cornell that integrated economic, scientific, clinical, and public health perspectives on contemporary issues surrounding malaria. Posted on the web, this was the first open-source curriculum on neglected diseases, and garnered international attention at a medical education conference in Havana, Cuba in 2008. The course has since evolved into a full-fledged longitudinal, four-year curriculum managed by students and faculty with full administrative support.
The elective curriculum now attracts 40 per cent of the Weill Cornell first-year medical class and features financial subsidies and support for research, applied public health, or clinical service abroad.
Kishore said, "One of my top priorities was to develop a trainee pipeline to provide early and thorough exposure to interdisciplinary perspectives in global health. I wanted to attempt to answer the question: How does one integrate basic sciences and public health?"
In addition to his outstanding research and classroom accomplishments, Kishore has delved into issues of global health advocacy and policy. He has made extensive contributions outside the laboratory to address a gap between basic scientists and public health practitioners and ensure technologies and health innovations were made available in developing countries.
Kishore's health-related work has been featured by the media, including Scientific American, The Huffington Post and The Scientist. He is a co-author of the forthcoming textbook Sick Societies, published by the Oxford University Press. Kishore is also the first Lancet Prize winner for community service, and was a recipient of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2008.
Kishore received his BS in Biology from Duke University and his MSc from the University of Oxford, where he was an Usher Cunningham Scholar in Medical Sciences. He completed his PhD from Weill Cornell's MD-PhD programme in May, and will return this fall to complete his MD.