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40 minority scientists receive travel fellowships to Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans

BETHESDA, Md (February 25, 2009) One of the nation's oldest and most respected non-profit science organizations will provide more than $68,000 in travel fellowships to underrepresented minority students and scientists to attend the Experimental Biology conference in New Orleans, April 18-22. The American Physiological Society (APS), which administers the program, has announced that 40 fellows will receive the travel awards.

APS administers the program with financial support from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Both NIDDK and NIGMS are part of the National Institutes of Health.

The APS Minority Travel Fellowship Program is designed to encourage more students from minority groups that are underrepresented in science to become scientists and remain in the field. African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students and faculty are eligible for the fellowships. The APS has awarded travel fellowships to approximately 575 minority students and faculty since 1987, when the program began.

In addition to paying travel and registration costs, each fellow is paired with an established researcher, an APS member who is usually in the same research area as the student. More than 60 APS members volunteer each year to be mentors. A number of former minority travel fellows -- now established researchers with their own graduate students -- serve as mentors themselves.

The program provides many career networking opportunities. The mentor introduces the fellow to other established scientists at the conference, and the fellows meet other minority students at an orientation and reception for current and past travel fellows. APS also invites fellows to career workshops, sessions on special skills development, and other special sessions during the conference.

Past fellows have praised the program, saying they received advice concerning their research from scientists they met through the program and also learned the ins and outs of interviewing for a postdoctoral or faculty position.

The 2009 Minority Travel Fellows are as follows:

  • Adebowale Adebiyi, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Imo Akpan, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gustavo R. Ares, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Krystal N. Brinson, Medical College of Georgia
  • Raquel M. Brown, Southern Illinois University
  • Heidy L. Contreras, University of California, Irvine
  • Zelieann Rivera Craig, University of Arizona
  • John H. Dubinion, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Jorge L. Gamboa, University of Kentucky
  • Fernanda RC Giachini, University of Sao Paulo / Medial College of Georgia
  • Shea Gilliam-Davis, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Albert L. Gonzales, Colorado State University
  • Helmut Bandeira Gottlieb, University of the Incarnate Word
  • Dolores Doane Guest, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • TanYa Gwathmey, Wake Forest University
  • Andres Hernandez, Auburn University
  • Marcela Herrera, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Michael Hoffman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Debra L. Irsik, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Erin M. Keen-Rhinehart, Harbor UCLA Medical Center
  • Anna K. Leal, UT Southwestern
  • Natasha Lugo-Escobar, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
  • Jeffrey B. Mason, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Keisa Mathis, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
  • Cathy C. Moore, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Norma B. Ojeda, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Karl D. Pendergrass, Wake Forest University
  • Arthur J. Pope, University Of Florida
  • Clintoria L. Richards-Williams, Emory University/Atlanta VA Medical Center
  • Lilliana Sanchez, University of New Mexico
  • Olga I. Santiago, Ponce School of Medicine
  • Aerial L. Singleton, New Mexico State University
  • Mesia Moore Steed, Wake Forest University
  • Carmen M. Troncoso Brindeiro, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Carla M. Trujillo, New Mexico State University
  • Johana Vallejo-Elias, Midwestern University - Arizona Osteopathic School of Medicine
  • Vabren L. Watts, Meharry Medical College
  • Letitia Weigand, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Leslie D. White, University of Flordia-College of Medicine
  • Justin L. Wilson, Howard University


Contact: Brooke Bruthers
American Physiological Society

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