For Release: May 10, 2007
Contact: DMS Communications 603-650-1492

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Med Students Funded to Devote Year to Research

Andrea Russo '08

Abigail Rao '09

HANOVER, NH—Two Dartmouth medical students have been named 2007 Research Scholars in a joint program of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-National Institutes of Health (NIH) designed to help nurture future physician-scientists.

Abigail Rao and Andrea Russo are among the 42 medical and dental students selected to explore the research side of medicine with support from the HHMI. They will spend the 2007-08 academic year conducting mentored research in NIH laboratories around the Bethesda, Maryland campus.

Rao, a second year medical student, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a neurobiology major. Russo, a third year student, graduated from Middlebury college as a molecular and biochemistry major.

"Physician-scientists contribute a unique and valuable perspective to the research community," said William Galey, graduate science education program director at HHMI, in an announcement of the awards. "By offering outstanding medical and dental students the opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of research, we hope to encourage them to make research part of their careers."

The Research Scholars Program is part of a broad HHMI effort to integrate basic research and clinical experience. "It is important to close the gap between bed and bench," said Peter J. Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. "We bring medical students to the lab to immerse them in scientific inquiry and graduate students to the clinic to expose them to medically important problems. Our intent is to increase the number of professionals who apply science in the service of medicine."


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