Two Students Win AMA Grants
|VANESSA MEWANI AND CAITLIN ABIDIN|
TWO STUDENTS who are in the MD/MSCTS dual-degree program at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences have each won a $2‚500 Seed Grant from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation. The Seed Grant Research Program provides young investigators at the beginning of their careers with financial support for basic science or clinical research projects.
The AMA Foundation awarded these grants to 43 junior investigators nationwide. The recipients are studying cardiovascular/pulmonary diseases‚ HIV/AIDS‚ neoplastic diseases and pancreatic cancer.
Many young scientists experience difficulty finding resources to support their investigations‚ and consequently fewer physicians are choosing careers in research. This research program aims to build crucial grant-writing and research skills in young researchers by funding projects that are applicant-conceived‚ rather than supporting the ongoing research of an experienced principal investigator. Just two such awards were given in New Jersey this year. The UMDNJ recipients are among awardees from such prestigious institutions as Weill Cornell Medical College, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania‚ Georgetown University School of Medicine‚ Yale New Haven Hospital‚ Duke University School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center.
Caitlin Abidin's research will provide data and rationale for the clinical application of autophagy inhibition in the treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer. Vanessa Mewani's research focuses on understanding the role of TRIM24 in DNA damage response and the implication of this pathway for treatment of neoplastic disease.
Both students have completed their third year at RWJMS and are spending the 2011-2012 academic year conducting research toward a Master's degree in clinical and translational science. They will return to their medical school studies in September 2012.