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Minority Medical Students Receive Support to Pursue Hematology Research

WASHINGTON, June 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) announces the selection of 15 participants for its 2009 Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP), which encourages minority medical students to pursue an interest in hematology research. Under the program, each award recipient will receive the support of a research mentor and a career development mentor, travel stipends to attend the ASH annual meeting, and a subscription to the scientific journal Blood, the official journal of ASH.

"This award was initiated in 2004 and aims to benefit both the recipients and the field of hematology as a whole," said ASH President Nancy Berliner, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. "The MMSAP program is designed to encourage the best students from traditionally underrepresented groups to pursue careers in hematology research."

For an eight- to 12-week period, MMSAP participants will work closely with their mentors on a hematology-related research project. The subjects investigated by this year's students include lymphoma, leukemia, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, and multiple myeloma. The awardees will also have the opportunity to present the results of their research at ASH's annual meeting in December, one of the largest medical meetings in the country with more than 20,000 attendees.

The 2009 MMSAP winners are:

  • Nnenaya Agochukwu, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport
  • Mohamad Alghothani, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana College of Medicine
  • Imo Akpan, University of Illinois - Chicago, College of Medicine
  • Jamie Brewer, University of Illinois - Chicago
  • May Cho, Meharry Medical College
  • Hector R. Flores-Bermudez, Universidad Central del Caribe - School of Medicine
  • Ashanti Franklin, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
  • Michael Garcia, Harvard Medical School
  • William J. Gostic II, Harvard Medical School
  • Tiffany D. Jackson, Mercer University School of Medicine
  • Courtney Nicole Johnson, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
  • Steven Ovu, Texas A&M Health Science Center - College of Medicine
  • Vanessa Pineros, University of Pennsylvania
  • Nneamaka Ugbode, Jefferson Medical College
  • Elizabeth Yeboah, University of Toronto

The program is offered to medical students from the United States and Canada in the early years of their DO, MD, or MD/PhD programs. For more information about the MMSAP, visit

To arrange an interview with an MMSAP awardee, please contact Patrick C. Irelan at 202-776-0544 or

Genentech BioOncology has generously supported this program with a grant through 2009.

The American Society of Hematology ( is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. In September 2008, ASH launched Blood: The Vital Connection (, a credible online resource addressing bleeding and clotting disorders, anemia, and cancer. It provides hematologist-approved information about these common blood conditions including risk factors, preventive measures, and treatment options.

SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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