Four CCNY Grads Receive Salk Scholarships for Medical School
A Brooklyn resident whose goal is to find a cure for lupus, a Pakistani immigrant involved in a complex cancer research project, and a soon to be wed graduate with an interest in DNA are City College’s 2003 Jonas E. Salk Scholarship recipients. A fourth student, who had the highest GPA in the CCNY Division of Science, was one of five honorary winners named by The City University of New York (CUNY). CCNY graduates Chiyedza Small, Kanwal Farooqi, Ronald Charles and Phyllis Eze, were among the Salk Scholars from five CUNY schools honored at a ceremony at Baruch College recently. All will attend leading medical schools.
The prestigious scholarships for medical school are awarded to students, chosen by a panel of distinguished physicians, for their outstanding academic records, the quality of their research projects and their volunteer work.
Dr. Louise Mirrer, CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, presented the awards to the winners. Dr. Angela Diaz, Director of the Adolescent Health Center and Crystal Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, was the guest speaker.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Diaz attended City College before earning her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completing her post-doctoral training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Diaz said, “It is wonderful that this country offers people the opportunity to achieve their dreams. With a lot of hard work and perseverance you can get there. I hope that these students do so and contribute to science and medicine.”
The scholarships are named for Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 1934 graduate of City College, who developed the anti-polio vaccine. When Dr. Salk was offered a ticker tape parade by New York City in 1955 in honor of his discovery, he asked that the money be used for scholarships instead. Since then, CUNY premedical students who have received the scholarships, which now offers a stipend of $6,000 per scholar for medical school, have gone on to assume leadership positions in medical research and medical practice.
Chiyedza Small: Ms. Small’s life-long love of science developed into an interest in scientific research after her freshman year at CCNY when she spent the summer studying immunoglobulin class switching in a human monoclonal B-cell line at Cornell University Medical School in Dr. Paolo Casali’s laboratory. Several of Ms. Small’s close friends are afflicted with lupus, an autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women. To find a treatment and a cure for lupus is one of the objectives hat has steered her on a path towards a Ph.D. in immunology. The Brooklyn resident will attend Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Kanwal Farooqi: Ms. Farooqi, who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in biochemistry, has been involved as an independent lead person in a complex research project in CCNY Professor Carol Wood-Moore’s microbiology lab at CCNY on the role of p53, a tumor repressor cell. She lives in Brooklyn and will attend New York Medical College.
Ronald Charles: After completing an associate degree in his native Grenada, Mr. Charles transferred to CCNY where he developed a special interest in how cells respond to damage of the DNA and how the cell determines when the damage is too much to repair. His work in Professor Carol Wood-Moore’s lab on the novel BLM3 gene will lead to contributions to several publications as co-author. Mr. Charles graduated magna cum laude with honors in biology. He was a MARC Scholar, a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, The Caduceus Society, and a Program in Premedical Studies Mage Scholarship recipient. He resides in Brooklyn and will be married in July 2003 before attending Cornell’s Weill School of Medicine.
Phyllis Eze: An Early Medical Education student to Downstate Medical School, Ms. Eze graduated from CCNY summa cum laude with a degree in biology. She had the highest GPA in the Division of Science, a perfect 4.00, and received the Program in Premedical Studies Excellence Award. This award, which carries a $2,000 prize, is given to the two top graduating students in the Premedical Studies Program. In addition, Ms. Eze was a MARC Scholar and worked under Biology Professor Dr. Karen Hubbard. She sat on the Executive Board of the Caduceus Society in the 2000-2001 academic year. Ms. Eze, who lives in Brooklyn, was selected for Downstate Medical School’s Early Medical Education Student program during her sophomore year at CCNY.#