2012 NIH Global Doctoral Program Newsletter




                   NIH OxCam Logo    MD PhD Logo   Wellcome Trust Program Logo


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


Welcome to the Directors' newsletter for the NIH Global Doctoral Program, which includes the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars, the MD/PhD Partnership Training, and the Wellcome Trust-NIH PhD Studentship programs.  Last year we celebrated the 10th and 5th anniversaries of the OxCam and MD/PhD programs, respectively, and the 4th anniversary of the Wellcome Trust program.  Over the course of 2011 and into 2012, there have been many exciting changes as the programs continue to grow and evolve. 


With nearly 100 active students and over 80 graduates from these programs, we are looking forward to formally welcoming the 2012 scholars at the Annual Colloquium in Oxford.


2011 NIH Scholar Mentor Annual Colloquium Group Photo


Group photo of all students in program




There have been several administrative changes over the past year.  After their dedicated service to both the OxCam and MD/PhD programs, the program founders, Drs. Michael Lenardo and Richard Siegel, have stepped down from their positions as directors and are now focusing on advising the International Biomedical Research Alliance founded by Steve McLean and managed by Randi Balletta.  The Alliance assures the financial viability of the NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program by supporting many important activities including student education, scholarships and the annual research colloquium.  Drs. Lenardo and Siegel are also serving as Senior Advisors to the OxCam management team.   After many years of dedicated service to the program, Bridget Lampert has moved on to a new position within NIAID.  We all wish her the best of luck in her new position.


Leadership is now being provided by Dr. Thomas Wynn (NIAID), the new Director of the OxCam Program, Dr. Craig Blackstone (NINDS), the new Director of the MD/PhD Partnership Training Program, and Dr. Rick Fairhurst (NIAID), the new Deputy Director of the MD/PhD Partnership Training Program.  Dr. Jim Sellers (NHLBI) has accepted the role of OxCam Program Academic Dean.  The program has also welcomed the new Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Matthew Vogt, and a new Managing Director, Ms. Katie Soucy.


We are pleased to announce that the NIH-Wellcome Trust PhD Program has been renewed for an additional five years, under the directorship of Drs. Daniel Douek (Director) and Jason Brenchley (Deputy Director).  Within this program, students from the European Union who have outlined a well-defined, collaborative project co-supervised by an NIH mentor and a UK mentor apply for a four-year program of study towards a PhD at any University in the UK or Republic of Ireland.  The four-year period is split equally between the UK University and the NIH. Five applicants are chosen each year.  The WT funds tuition and stipend during the students' time in the UK. The NIH faculty are encouraged to reach out to UK collaborators to identify well qualified students.




Scholar Updates


      The scholars have been very productive overt the last year, collectively publishing over 45 papers in several top-tier journals.  The continued success of the scholars is a testament to their hard work and dedication to advancing biomedical research.  We are all grateful for the support and guidance they receive from their mentors, which ensures that the OxCam Program remains one of the premier PhD and MD/PhD training programs in the world.  Notable papers include:

      T. Grant Belgard’s (OxCam) cover article in Neuron

      Feng-Yen Li’s (MD/PhD) article in Nature

      Mateusz Macielewski’s (Wellcome) article in Biochemistry

      Lisa Bond’s (OxCam) article in Molecular Biology of the Cell

      Derek Narenda’s (OxCam & MD/PhD) commentary in Nature

      Madhav Sukumaran’s (OxCam & MD/PhD) two articles in EMBO Journal

      Roseanne Zhao (OxCam) article in Immunity


      So far in this academic year, 14 scholars have successfully defended their thesis and are taking a post-doctoral position or returning to medical school to complete or begin their clinical training. Congratulations to these students:

      Keriann Backus - NIAID and Oxford

      T Grant Belgard - NHGRI and Oxford

      Lisa Bond - NHLBI and Cambridge

      Ethan Buch - NINDS and Oxford

      Cynthia Chang - NIAMS and Oxford

      Rebecca Chodroff - NHGRI and Oxford

      Chibawayne Ene - NCI and Cambridge

      Elizabeth Maynes - NICHD and Oxford

      Derek Narendra - NINDS and Cambridge

      Giang Huong Nguyen - NCI and Oxford

      Kathering Patzel - NHGRI and Oxford

      Molly Perkins - NIAID and Oxford

      Shivang Shah - NIAID and Oxford

      Roseanne Zhao - NHGRI and Cambridge


      Feng-Yen Li won the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award and Derek Narendra won the University of Michigan Medical School Dean's Award for Research Excellence this year.


      The 2011 entering OxCam class includes 17 scholars dedicated to pursuing biomedical research.  Eleven students had at least 1 published paper in advance of their initial interview.  The class included several scholarship recipients: 1 Rhodes, 1 Marshall, 1 Churchill, 1 Gates and 1 Keasby scholar.  Detailed information on our latest scholars, as well as previous scholars, can be found at the website: http://oxcam.gpp.nih.gov/mentorsAdvisors/currentCohort.asp


2011 Class Photo

2011 Class Photo 



      The MD/PhD Partnership Training Program added three new students who are currently in medical school and will begin their PhD research in 2013.   


      The Wellcome Trust Program accepted six new scholars this year who will train at various UK universities, such as University of Southampton, University College London, Imperial College, University of Leeds and the University of Surrey.


      Dr. Roy Vagelos hosted a Mentoring Day during the 2011 Annual Colloquium at the NIH.  This event featured returning program alumni who shared with the current students their experiences and many successes after graduating.  The panel included Drs. Paul Tesar (Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University), Jean Lee (medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Adrian Lobito (Scientist, Catalyst Biosciences), Jon Roiser (Lecturer, University College London), Tom Johnson (medical school at JHU) and Ambika Bumb (post-doctoral fellow, NHLBI). 


      During the 2011 Scholar-Mentor Colloquium Banquet, the NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, treated attendees to a special welcoming musical performance.  We were also pleased to have Nobel Laureate, Dr. Peter Agre, as the keynote speaker, who shared his life experiences and insights with the scholars and their mentors.


      Supported by the International Biomedical Research Alliance, OxCam scholars Mark Ziats, Inn Inn Chen, Jenny Dworzak, Giang Huong Nguyen, Nicholas McBride, Michael Tee, Matthew Biancalana, Adam Knight, and Wellcome Trust scholar Paul Myers attended the Lasker Awards in New York City and discussed their research with the award winners at a special breakfast meeting.


      The 2012 Annual Scholar-Mentor Colloquium was held on June 20 and 21 at the University of Oxford, Keble College.  The keynote speakers this year were Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore and Dr. Alice Huang. 



A special thanks to...


The mentors at both the NIH and UK Universities for their continued support of the scholars. 


The NIH Scientific Directors for their continued and enthusiastic support of the OxCam scholars.  We are particularly grateful to Dr. Kathy Zoon for her guidance and support in helping the programs achieve their goal of training the next generation of scientists.


Professor Richard Cornall and Sarah Noujaim at The University of Oxford and Professor Ken Smith, Karina Prasad and Elizabeth McIntyre at The University of Cambridge for all their hard work and unwavering support of the scholars.


Our class deans for the time and effort they spend mentoring and advising the students during their 4 years in the program.  The students, directors and administrative staff greatly appreciate the long-term commitment they have made in helping the students become better scientists and making these programs successful. 


      2007 - Drs. John Hanover and Tracey Rouault

Their last official review was conducted in the fall of 2011.  We look forward to seeing their students thrive in their new roles.

      2008 Drs. Carol Thiele and Judie Walters

      2009 Drs. Richard Koup and Harris Bernstein

      2010 Drs. B.J. Fowlkes and David Margulies

      2011 Drs. Rick Fairhurst and Kuan-Teh Jeang


The Wellcome Trust, especially Dr. Candace Hassall and Louise Williams, for continued support of NIH-based program.


The MD/PhD advisory board and Dr. Peter Preusch, Program Director for the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), and Lori Burge, Grants Management Team Leader (NIGMS), for supporting the training of the MD/PhD scholars.


The many heads of the Scholarship organizations including Mary Denyer of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Society, Peter Patrikis of the Winston Churchill Foundation, Elliot Gerson of The Rhodes Trust, and Jim Smith of the Gates-Cambridge Trust for generously supporting our students.


The Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES), especially Dr. Ted Becker, for continued support and assistance for the Scholars and the programs.


Stephen McLean and the International Biomedical Research Alliance for supporting the programs and enhancing the training experiences of the scholars.  We are pleased to welcome Randi Balletta who helps to organize social training events for students.  Some of the events sponsored by the Alliance included the monthly student seminar series Frontiers in Biosciences, Mentoring Day, Scholar Summer BBQ, scholar attendance at the Lasker Awards and special events during the Annual Colloquium. 


And finally, a very special “thank you” to Dr. Ron Schwartz for his 10 years of dedicated guidance and support as the founding Academic Dean of the OxCam program.  Ron stepped down from his position this spring as he prepares for NIH retirement later this year. 


Upcoming News and Events


2012 Entering Class

 2012 Class photo


We are excited to welcome the new 2012 Class Deans, Drs. Kenton Swartz (NINDS) and Kanta Subbarao (NIAID). This year’s class of scholarship recipients included 2 Gates-Cambridge, 2 Marshall, 1 Cambridge International and 1 HHMI Gilliam scholar.  More information can be found at: http://oxcam.gpp.nih.gov/mentorsAdvisors/Classof2012.asp


This Fall a new housing option will be available to all the Scholars.  Some of the scholars will be able to rent a room in one of two on-campus houses that were once reserved for use by the NIH Director and the U.S. Surgeon General.  Thanks to Dr. Michael Gottesman, NCI, Office of Research Facilities, and FAES for help in organizing this new initiative.