DALLAS March 31, 2010 Mariam El-Ashmawy, a student enrolled in UT Southwestern Medical Center's prestigious Medical Scientist Training Program, has been awarded a 2010 Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Ms. El-Ashmawy, a Lewisville native, is one of five Gilliam fellows and the only M.D./Ph.D. student selected this year from institutions across the country. Each fellow receives $44,000 annually for up to five years to support his or her studies toward a doctoral degree in science. To date, 30 individuals have received the fellowship.
According to HHMI, the Gilliam fellows program aims to enrich science research and increase the diversity of college and university faculty members. Fellows, who come from groups underrepresented in the sciences or from disadvantaged backgrounds, have worked in the labs of top HHMI scientists as undergraduates.
A 2008 graduate of Arizona State University, Ms. El-Ashmawy entered UT Southwestern's Medical Scientist Training Program in 2009. Students enrolled in the highly integrative program receive both hands-on clinical experience and laboratory research training. Upon completing the program, students earn an M.D. from UT Southwestern Medical School and a Ph.D. from UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Ms. El-Ashmawy said she plans to concentrate her studies on neuroscience. Last summer, she worked with Dr. Lisa Monteggia, associate professor of psychiatry, and next summer she hopes to work with Dr. Luis Parada, chairman of developmental biology.
"I chose UT Southwestern because it has a great M.D./Ph.D. program with a strong emphasis on science, and I felt at home here," Ms. El-Ashmawy said. "The caliber of medical training combined with bench-side research at UT Southwestern is hard to beat."
When she was a middle-school student, Ms. El-Ashmawy's father survived a heart attack. At the hospital, she viewe
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UT Southwestern Medical Center