The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has selected a record 15 Oklahoma high school and college students and four high school teachers to participate in its prestigious summer research programs.
Students chosen as Sir Alexander Fleming scholars and teachers chosen as Foundation Scholars will spend June and July alongside OMRF senior scientists in foundation laboratories conducting hands-on research.
The Fleming Scholar Program was established in 1956. Since that time, more than 350 gifted Oklahoma students have received the coveted scholarships. The first program of its kind, it has served as a model for similar programs nationwide.
The 15 students were selected from more than 100 applications from across Oklahoma. High School juniors and seniors, and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Selection is made by a committee of OMRF scientists and staff on the basis of academic merit and achievement, and recommendations by teachers and school administration.
Since the Foundation Scholar Program began in 1988, 47 high school science teachers from throughout the state have been chosen to participate on the basis of professional accomplishment and commitment to classroom teaching. A committee of OMRF scientists and staff select participants from dozens of applications each year.
Teachers receiving the scholarships return to their classrooms with personal computers, which link them and their students directly to scientists at the Oklahoma City-based foundation. The computers also provide access to the Internet and communication with other scholars across the state.
The 2002 Fleming Scholars, their hometowns and current schools include:
Amy Agrawal, Oklahoma City, Putnam City North High School
Amanda Lynn Blackwood, Edmond, Edmond Santa Fe High School
Serena Starr Freeman, Broken Bow, Broken Bow High School
Marcus D. Hooks, Midwest City, Midwest City High School
Trupti Kansara, Oklahoma City, Putnam City West High School
Kevin Enpei Lai, Tulsa, University of Oklahoma
Natasha Mary Michno, Duncan, Duncan High School
Philip Allen Mudd, Guthrie, Guthrie High School
Kirtan Das Nautiyal, Tulsa, Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics
Cassie Jo Pierce, Goltry, Timberlake High School
Leah Anne Pranger, Broken Arrow, Union High School
Lauren Lee Ritterhouse, Edmond, Edmond Memorial High School
Rohit Sharda, Stillwater, Stillwater High School
Tracy Washington, Lawton, Eisenhower High School
Tianhao (Anne) Zhao, Lawton, Eisenhower High School
The four teachers selected as Foundation Scholars will study as a group in the Molecular and Cell Biology Research Program in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Silverman. The 2002 Foundation Scholars, their hometowns and schools include:
Angela Faye Boston, Edmond, Guthrie High School
Kent Edwards, Muskogee, Oktaha High School
Dominie Deanne Kitchens, Moore, Crooked Oak High School
Douglas George Routh, Tulsa, Mannford High School
Chartered in 1946, OMRF is a private, non-profit, biomedical research institution which employs more than 450 scientists, physicians, technicians, and administrative and support personnel. OMRF focuses on several critical areas of research: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, stroke, AIDS, aging, children’s diseases and genetic disorders.