Maren Fund

Information about opportunities available to department graduate students through the Maren Fund

The Thomas P. Maren Graduate Student Fund in Physiology


Thomas P. Maren (1918-1999) enjoyed a long and productive scientific career, published over 300 papers and was an active academic until his death at the age of 81. He graduated from Princeton in 1938 with a degree in chemistry and worked briefly at a pharmaceutical firm until his love of literature drew him back to Princeton in 1940 to pursue a PhD in English literature. World War II interrupted his studies just short of completing his MA and because of his pharmaceutical experience he was assigned to the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health to work on anti-malarial drugs. He stayed to complete an MD degree and next joined the Chemotherapy Division of the American Cyanamid Company where he began a life-long interest in the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. He is primarily recognized for his many fundamental contributions to understanding the biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology of carbonic anhydrase and is responsible for developing the inhibitor acetazolamide as the first effective diuretic. In 1953, he moved to the University of Florida to found the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics where he was active until his death. In 1990 Princeton belatedly awarded him his master’s degree in Literature.

His connection to our department was formed at the Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Maine where he and his wife Emily spent their summers and were friends with our faculty members Drs. Carl Gottschalk and Susan Fellner. Dr. Fellner is a member of the Maren Foundation and secured funds to create the Thomas P. Maren Graduate Student Fund in Physiology. Because of Dr. Maren’s life-long interest in the written word and Dr. Fellner’s commitment to student mentoring and good scientific writing, the Fund includes a Fellowship in the form of a grant application. The Fund also supports other educational resources.

Components of the Fund:

1. The Dr. Susan Fellner Physiology Graduate Student Research Fellowship (Fellner Fellowship)

This one-year merit-based stipend award will be made every year for the next 5 years to a student registered in the Physiology PhD program working with a department faculty mentor. Students must have passed their Thesis Proposal at the time of application. The applications will take the form of an NIH individual NRSA application, and students should also submit a current CV. Mentors are expected to work with their students in preparing the application. Reviews will be performed by a committee of three Physiology faculty members appointed on a yearly basis by the Chair. Support is provided for stipends, tuition, fees and health insurance. The Fellner Fellowship can not be simultaneously held with other fellowships (T32, AHA, NRSA, etc.).

2. The Communicating Scientific Results course (PHYI 705/706) will have an annual budget of up to $2000 a year (no more than $10,000 over five years) for any reasonable educational costs.

The Maren Fund will cover all reasonable requests from students in the Cell and Molecular Physiology Graduate Program, as suggested below. The DGS must approve these expenses and will ask for input from the Graduate Committee in case of disputes.

3. Students are encouraged to apply for assistance toward the costs of attending a major scientific meeting where they will present their own work, or to attend an educational course (e.g. Woods Hole, NIH, etc.). The Fund will seek to combine with other sources wherever possible rather than cover the full costs of such opportunities. The application process starts with a letter to the DGS outlining educational/research benefits the activity will provide, an estimate of the total costs of attendance, and the amount to be paid by non-Maren sources.  This letter should be approved and signed by the student's mentor.

4. Poster printing when the student is the first author or is presenting the poster at a meeting. Students and their mentors should request an account number after approval of the DGS.

5. Students are encouraged to request reimbursement for one copy of any major Physiology text book, such as Medical Physiology by Boron and Boulpaep, or other professional development tool such as the EndNote reference management program (Reference Manager is no longer supported and will not be reimbursed).

6. Students may request reimbursement for a copy of any reasonable professional development book (up to 2) with approval of the DGS. Recommended books include:

Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers, Mimi Zeiger

Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Careers in Science and Engineering, Richard M. Reis

At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator, Kathy Barker

7. Other reasonable requests consistent with the goal of the Fund will be considered and must be approved by the Chair, DGS and majority of the Graduate Committee. Unexpected issues of policy or disputes will be decided by the Chair.