June 5, 2009 Two More MSTP Students Receive Individual NIH Research Funding
Two MSTP graduate students, Melissa McKenzie and Tyler Bold, were recently awarded Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellows.
Tyler Bold received support from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health with an F30 fellowship for his project "Initiation and maintenance of adaptive immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis." Tyler is a second-year graduate student in the Molecular Oncology and Immunology Training Program working in the lab of Joel Ernst. His research aims to identify the immune mechanisms that underlie the clinical disease tuberculosis (TB), which kills approximately 2 million people each year.
Melissa McKenzie, a first-year graduate student in lab of Gord Fishell and a member of the Developmental Genetics Program, received a three-year NRSA F30 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health for her project "Downstream effectors of Shh and FGF signaling in the developing neocortex." The Fishell lab studies the development of cortical interneurons, a remarkably diverse population of inhibitory neurons. Errors in the function or development of cortical interneurons have been implicated in many complex neurological diseases including epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia. With her NRSA support, Melissa aims to further elucidate the transcriptional cascade involved in specifying different interneuron subtypes. She has focused her approach on candidate genes known to act downstream of the signaling molecules sonic hedgehog (Shh) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF), known regulators of early patterning of the telencephalon. She hopes that a better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of developmental events leading to interneuron generation will facilitate the identification of targets for the treatment of interneuron related disease.
As the NIH guidelines state, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellows provide training funds, including tuition, stipends, and laboratory support, "to promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent, highly trained physician-scientists, including patient-oriented physician-scientists" with the expectation "that these training opportunities will increase the number of future investigators in basic, translational and clinical research who are physician scientists."
More than 10% of students in the NYU MD/PhD program currently receive individual funding through the National institutes of Health or other external agencies.
May 1, 2009 MSTP Fellow First to Graduate from NYU’s Multi-disciplinary Computational Biology Program
The first graduate of the Computational Biology Training Program at New York University is MSTP fellow Mainak Patel, who successfully defended his thesis "Emergence of Dual Coding Mechanisms in a Network Model of the Locust Antennal Lobe: Transient Temporal Binding vs. a Delayed, High Dimensional Rate Code" on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences under the supervision of his thesis mentor Dave McLaughlin, Ph.D., Provost and Professor of Mathematics and Neuroscience, and his advisors Drs. David Cai and Aaditya Rangan.
The Training Program in Computational Biology is designed to bring together the faculty and resources of the NYU Graduate School of Arts & Science (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Neural Science) and the NYU School of Medicine (the Sackler Institute of Biomedical Sciences) in order to train students in the fundamentals and applications of computational methods to biology, including macromolecular structure and function, bioinformatics and genomics, function of physiological systems (cells, organs, neuronal networks) and innovative methods for cellular and biomedical imaging.
Michael Shelley, Ph.D., the Lilian and George Little Professor of Applied Mathematics, Professor of Mathematics and Neural Science and Director of the Computational Biology Training Program, had high praise for Dr. Patel's work. As Dr. Shelley noted, Dr. Patel's thesis offered not only an "excellent presentation of his work, but the work itself was substantial and contained some very interesting ideas on how odor discrimination may actually be accomplished."
April 5, 2009 Two Distinguished Alumni of the NYU MSTP Return to Receive Achievement Awards
Two distinguished alumni of the NYU MST Program, Joel Moss, M.D., Ph.D., and Trever Bivona, M.D., Ph.D., returned to their alma mater to receive awards for excellence in their fields at this year's Alumni Reunion Day.
Trever Bivona, M.D., Ph.D., a 2005 graduate of the NYU MD/PhD program, was honored with the Julia Zelmanovich Young Alumni Award. Dr. Bivona is a hematology/oncology research fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He received his MD at the NYU School of Medicine and his PhD in the NYU Cellular and Molecular Biology training program under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Philips and completed his residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He is currently working on elucidating the molecular pathways of oncogene dependence in the lab of Charles Sawyers. The Zelmanovich Award was created in memory of Julia Zelmanovich, a member of the Class of 1997. As the award stipulates, the recipient must serve as a role model in the pursuit of knowledge and experience, while demonstrating loyalty to the profession, a compassionate manner and dedicated spirit, and an inquiring mind. In 2004 another MSTP graduate, Jedd Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D. (1994), was the honoree for this award.
Joel Moss, M.D., Ph.D., a 1972 graduate of the NYU MD/PhD program and the recipient of this year's Solomon A. Berson Medical Achievement Award in Basic Science, is deputy chief of the translational medicine branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He received his PhD in biochemistry and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Moss joined the NHLBI as a researcher, where his work has centered on the molecular and cellular biology of destructive lung disease, particularly on how infection, inflammation and genetic modifiers influence disease progression and severity. The Berson Award is named in honor of NYU School of Medicine Class of 1945 member Solomon Aaron Berson (1918-1972), a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Chair of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose groundbreaking work with Rosalyn Yalow on the development of radioimmunoassays of peptid hormones led to a Nobel Prize for Yalow in 1977.
March 19, 2009 Residency Matches for our MSTP Graduates
The 2009 graduates of our MD/PhD Training Program have distinguished themselves in their residency matches:
Wasif Abidi, Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital
Steven Braunstein, Preliminary Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, followed by Radiation Oncology at the University of California San Francisco
Brian Capell, Preliminary Medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital, followed by a combined Research and Clinical Training Program in Dermatology (4 Year Training Program), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Friese, Anesthesiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital
Jason Lieberthal, Internal Medicine at Boston University Medical Center
Kira Minkis, Preliminary Medicine at Winthrop University Hospital, New York, followed by Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical Center
Steven Quatela, Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical Center
Francisco Ramírez-Valle, Preliminary Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, followed by Dermatology on a research track at the University of California San Francisco
Max Schiff is continuing his research studies at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.
Alexander Spektor, Preliminary Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, followed by the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital
We would like to congratulate them all for their stellar achievements and extend our best and heart-felt wishes for their future careers!
In addition, three of our graduating MSTP Fellows were inducted as new members of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society on March 12, 2009. Stephen Braunstein, Ph.D., Francisco Ramírez-Valle, Ph.D., and Alexander Spektor, Ph.D., were among the 27 NYU School of Medicine students who were selected to become part of the AΩA Class of 2009. The election by a faculty committee to the AΩA Honor Society represents an acknowledgement of the highest standards of excellence achieved by graduating medical students. Last year MSTP graduates James Bennett, Abby Deans, and Marc Fuccillo were among those honored.
November 3, 2008 NYU MSTP 2008 Retreat
The 2008 NYU Medical Scientist Training Program Retreat was held at the Kimmel Center on NYU's main campus on Sunday, October 26, to provide a forum for the community of physician-scientists at NYU and to provide them with the opportunity to present their work-in-progress to their peers. The consensus was that the event was a resounding success and that the presentations provided ample evidence of the high-caliber research conducted by our current students.
The keynote speaker was Gail Kurr Adler, M.D., Ph.D., a 1982 graduate of the NYU MSTP who is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Kurr Adler's keynote address was entitled "The Adverse Cardiovascular Effects of Aldosterone: Travels from Mice To Men." Andrew Beenken, Megan Bowers, Brian Capell, Brian Clark, Scott Drutman, Sagar Mungekar, Alex Spektor, and Serre-Yu Wong discussed their ongoing research as fellows of the NYU MD/PhD Program in individual presentations. Posters presentations were given by Jason Chalifoux, Amélie Collins, Ijeoma Ejigiri, Eugene Friedman, Kira Minkis, Chris Parkhurst, Kseniya Petrova, Adam Pont, Pam Sung, Kay Yeung and Eddie Zagha.
To view a web gallery of photos of the day, click on this link. Current MSTP students will receive the password to access the web gallery via email. If you are interested in viewing the photos and you are not a current MSTP student, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access permissions.
June 10, 2008 Introducing Our Newest MSTP Students
The NYU School of Medicine MD/PhD Program is pleased to welcome five new members to our student community. Joe Marlin joins us from the University of California Berkeley, Jessica Feig comes to us via Yeshiva University, Maryem Hussein has graduated from Haverford College, and Danielle Zheng is moving here from the University of Chicago. Karen Ong, currently at the NIH, is planning to start the Program in the next academic year. The Admissions Committee and the Director of the NYU MSTP, Dr. David Roth, read close to four hundred applications from prospective candidates. They were very impressed with the sterling qualities of all of this year's applicants.
March 15, 2008 Residency Matches for Our Outstanding Graduates
Once again, this year's graduates of our MD/PhD Training Program have distinguished themselves in their residency matches. James Bennett will work in Pediatrics at the University of Washington, Seattle. The University of Washington will also be the home for Marie Davis, who has taken a position in Neurology there. Abby Deans will do a one-year internship at St Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco and then continue in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Owen Debowy will begin his residency in Medicine/Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Ethan Goldberg has elected Childrens Hospital, Philadelphia, for his Pediatrics residency and Thormika Keo will move to Stanford University for Internal Medicine. We would like to congratulate them all for their stellar achievements and extend our best and heart-felt wishes for their future careers!