Ten Indian American medical students will immerse themselves in a year of intense lab research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, as part of the HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program, a $2.5 million annual initiative to increase the training of future physician-scientists.
In all, 70 students from 27 medical schools across the country will participate in the year-long Medical Research Fellows Program. More than 1400 students have participated in the Medical Research Fellows program since its inception in 1989.
Taking part in the program are Zain Ahmed, Neil Nadkarni, Swarup Swaminathan, Luv Patel and Mounica Vallurupalli, all of Harvard Medical School; as well as Elisha Garg of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Mihir Gupta of the Stanford University School of Medicine; Jugal Shah of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; Richa Sharma of Indiana University School of Medicine; and Nipun Verma of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at Cornell Medical College.
This year, HHMI is also launching a Summer Medical Fellows Program, which provides opportunities for medical students to do eight to ten weeks of research in the labs of HHMI or Janelia Farm scientists.
HHMI is funding 27 Summer Medical Fellows this year, among them Bilal Ahmed of Harvard Medical School; Geetha Bhagavatula and Nila Manandhar of the University of California, San Francisco; and Rima Shah of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
The HHMI Medical Research Fellows 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, Maryland. When applying for the program, each student submits a research plan to work in a specific lab with a mentor they have identified.
This year, 226 students from 68 different medical schools applied for the program. The fellows spend a year away from their medical courses and clinical rotations to do laboratory research. The students also get an opportunity to interact with HHMI scientists at HHMI-sponsored meetings throughout the year. Fellows usually choose to do research at their home institution.