The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has named nine Oklahoma science students as Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars for 2008. Nearly 100 applicants from high schools and colleges throughout Oklahoma competed for the prestigious program, which has launched the careers of physicians and researchers for more than a half-century.
Since 1956, the Fleming Scholar Program has provided hands-on research experience for more than 450 gifted Oklahoma students. This year’s class will spend June and July working in laboratories with senior-level OMRF scientists on ongoing research projects. Scholars will receive a $3,000 stipend and housing, if needed, as part of the scholarship.
“These are the state’s finest young science students, and these eight weeks will open their eyes and challenge them in new ways,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “As they learn more about research, they also bring a shot of enthusiasm into our laboratories and ask questions that keep us on our toes.”
More than 100 Fleming Scholars have gone on to careers as biomedical researchers and physicians, including three current OMRF scientists:
Rodger McEver, M.D. (Oklahoma City, Fleming class of 1965);
Judith James, M.D., Ph.D. (originally from Pond Creek, class of 1988); and
Andrea Sestak, M.D., Ph.D. (Edmond, class of 1984).
The 2008 Fleming Scholars are:
Anne Alger, Shawnee, University of Oklahoma
Leah Henry, Oklahoma City, University of Oklahoma
Jack Laurent, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State University
Sishir Mannava, Edmond, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
Sara Moore, Norman, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Alia Ramirez, Oklahoma City, Classen School of Advanced Studies
Johnnie West, Lawton, Lawton High School
Meaghan Wierzbic, Harrah, Harrah High School
Stephanie Wilburn, Fitzhugh, Oklahoma Baptist University
For more information on the program, go to www.omrf.org/fleming.