CHAPEL HILL — Two students in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have been named 2010-2011 Medical Research Fellows by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The students are Kerry Colby, a native of Wilmington, N.C. and Jordan Kemere, who grew up in Richardson, Texas.
The HHMI Medical Research Fellowships program allows medical, dental, and veterinary students to pursue biomedical research at a laboratory anywhere in the United States except the NIH campus in Bethesda. Each student submits a research plan to work in a specific lab with a mentor they have identified. Since 1989, about 1,200 students have participated.
This year, 74 students from 26 medical schools and two veterinary schools were chosen as fellows from a pool of 274 -- the largest number of applicants in the history of the program. While most students elect to stay at their home institution to do their research, this year 17 fellows will work in labs at a different school. Their research topics include schizophrenia, wound healing, organ development, and many other important biological questions.
Colby earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from North Carolina State University before beginning medical school at UNC in 2007. For her HHMI fellowship, she will soon begin research investigating the role of epigenetic silencing of genes associated with relapse and remission of ANCA vasculitis. She will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Ronald Falk, director of the UNC Kidney Center. Colby’s future goals after medical school include an internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship.
Kemere earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UNC in 2003 and then earned a master’s degree in infectious diseases at the University of California, Berkeley before entering medical school at UNC in 2007. As a recipient of the HHMI Medical Fellows grant, Kemere will investigate malaria in the lab of Drs. Philip Rosenthal and Bryan Greenhouse at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. The focus of her project will be on understanding how naturally acquired immunity to the malaria parasite changes over time, specifically in a setting of declining transmission. Kemere hopes to complete a residency in internal medicine and continue in academic medicine as a physician-scientist.
Media contact: Tom Hughes, (919) 966-6047, firstname.lastname@example.org