UTHSC medical students selected for prestigious research program at National Institutes of Health
Two students from the
Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
are among only 42 selected nationwide for the 2001 Howard Hughes Medical
Institute-National Institutes of Health (HHMI-NIH) Research Scholars Program.
David M. Benglis Jr. and Derek G. Dombroski will spend a year conducting
intensive research in a laboratory environment on the NIH campus in Bethesda,
“Our success in this highly
competitive, national program speaks well of our student body and faculty,”
said Steven A. Wartman, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for academic and
health affairs and dean of the Medical School. “I am proud of David and Derek
and know they will represent us well. It is a major achievement that we have
had five students selected for this prestigious program in the last four
Benglis, a second-year student at the Medical School,
is from Louisiana and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dombroski, also a second-year student, is from Plantation, Fla. He graduated
from Columbia University. Both students have conducted research at the Health
for selection into such programs are multifaceted. Our students are
intellectually gifted, they are highly motivated and their interpersonal skills
are outstanding,” said Leonard E. Lawrence, M.D., associate dean for student
affairs in the Medical School. “Clearly, these two young men meet all the
“The program is a great way to get medical students
interested in biomedical research, because they actually live the life of a
researcher for a year,” said Melanie Daub,communications
administrator for the HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program.
After the students arrive at NIH, they will visit
different laboratories and select a research topic of interest. Scholars will
live in a collegial environment at the Cloister, their residence on campus, and
work in a laboratory with a distinguished scientist.
“I’m really interested in learning how the research process
works from beginning to end, and I’m looking forward to studying under some of
the best scientists in the world,” Benglis said. “This experience will be
important for my future, because it will help me determine if research is
something I want to pursue.”
Scholars will participate in activities
outside the laboratory as well. They will attend science dinners, discussion
groups and seminars. “One of the highlights of our program is the weekly
science dinners. The students have an opportunity to hear from world-renowned
researchers and talk with them one on one. The students also learn a great deal
from each other in their weekly informal science meetings where they present
their work to their fellow scholars,” Daub said.
“It will be fantastic to be immersed in research at
the premier research campus in the world,” Dombroski said. “I’m interested in
research because in the field of medicine, there are always questions to be
answered. In the future, I want to be involved in active medicine, seeing patients,
as well as performing research to find better methods to treat them.”
Benglis and Dombroski will begin
the one-year program in late July, with the option to remain for a second year.
They are looking forward to devoting next year to full-time research.
Contact: Will Sansom