52 minority scientists receive APS/NIDDK travel fellowships totaling $90,000

BETHESDA, MD (March 27, 2006) One of the nation's leading non-profit science organizations is providing fellowships to underrepresented minority students -- part of an effort to retain qualified minority students in physiology and the biomedical sciences.

The American Physiological Society (APS), with the support of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health, will award a total of $90,000 to 52 fellows to attend APS scientific conferences, including Experimental Biology 2006 (EB) in San Francisco April 1-5.

The program is designed to encourage more minorities 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 more than 500 minority students and faculty since 1987, when the program began.

In addition to paying transportation, registration and other 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 conferences, 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:

  • "I received advice from several scientists concerning my research and the ins and outs of interviewing for a postdoctoral position. The most rewarding part of the program was meeting people face to face that you only read about through their journal articles."
  • "This was a great opportunity to network with others in my field and it was really an awesome experience. This will only help to take my career further."

The APS/NIDDK 2006 fellows are as follows:
Arizona State University - Sydella Blatch
Auburn University - James E. Harris
Barry University - Christophe Arteaga, Tina Carla Franklin
Baylor College of Medicine - Adetokunbo Omolola Enioza, Anjelica L. Gonzalez-Simon
East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine - Hiromi Sanders
Florida International University - Haroldo Souza Silva
Georgia Institute of Technology - Manu O. Platt
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - Keisa Williams Mathis
Meharry Medical College - Phillip D. Palmer
Medical College of Georgia - Dexter L. Lee
Medical University of South Carolina - Sonya D. Coaxum
Michigan State University - Keshari Thakali
New Mexico State University - Kimberly M. Benavidez, Aerial L. Singleton
Ponce (Puerto Rico) School of Medicine - Marielly Cuevas-Torres, Javier A. Pagan Gutierrez, Beatriz Pagan-Ortiz, Edelmarie Riveria De Jesus, Olga I. Santiago-Maldonado, Cariluz Santiago-Ortiz
University of Alabama-Birmingham - Wanda H. Vila-Carriles
University of California-Davis - Juliana K. Sampson
University of California-Irvine - Nancy M. Aguilar-Roca
University of California-Los Angeles - Johana Vallejo-Rodriguez
University of Illinois-Chicago - Myla M. Patterson
University of Iowa - Brett J. Wong
University of Louisville - Mesia Moore Steed, Candice Thomas
University of Maryland (Baltimore County) - Raelina Howell
University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey - Arnaldo M. Pica
University of Michigan - Lymari Lopez-Diaz, Christopher Mendias, Jesus Salazar
University of Mississippi Medical Center - Nikki Jernigan
University of New Mexico - Jessica M. Bryant, Samantha N. Torres, Paulette M. Yamada
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus - Nildris Cruz-Diaz, Natasha Lugo Escobar, Jose O. Garcia Colon, Raissa Menendez-Delmestre, Geidy E. Serrano
University of Tennessee Health Science Center - Alie Kanu
University of Texas-San Antonio - Alberto W. Mares
University of Texas Health Science Center - Maria Eugenia Davila
University of Wisconsin - Julia E. R. Wilkerson
Wake Forest University School of Medicine - Shea Gilliam-Davis, Karl Pendergrass
West Virginia University School of Medicine - Rhonda Prisby
Vanderbilt University - Julio E. Ayala

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Go to http://www.the-aps.org/education/minority_prog/stu_fellows/minority_tvl/ov_mt.htm for more information about the program.

The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied bioscience. The Bethesda, Maryland-based society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals containing almost 4,000 articles annually.

APS provides a wide range of research, educational and career support and programming to further the contributions of physiology to understanding the mechanisms of diseased and healthy states. In May 2004, APS received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.


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