OMRF has selected 13 Oklahoma high school and college students as Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars for 2017.
The students for OMRF’s 62nd class of Fleming Scholars were selected following a competitive statewide application and interview process. Those selected as scholars will spend eight weeks working side-by-side with OMRF scientists on specific research projects covering subjects such as autoimmune disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
At the program’s conclusion, the scholars will author scientific papers and deliver presentations to OMRF’s scientific staff.
“This unique program brings a sense of excitement to our labs every summer, reinvigorating our staff while also providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these bright students to get hands-on experience in a lab setting,” said OMRF Fleming Scholar Program coordinator Heather Hebert. “The experience allows students to see if a career in science or medicine is in their future, while also providing them with invaluable skills they can use in any career path.”
Since it launched in 1956, the Fleming Scholar Program has provided nearly 600 Oklahoma students with a first-hand look at careers in research and medicine. The program is named in honor of famed British scientist Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin and came to Oklahoma City in 1949 to dedicate OMRF’s first building.
Two OMRF senior scientists, Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., and Rodger McEver, M.D., started their research careers as Fleming Scholars. James is the Program Chair OMRF’s Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Program, the foundation’s largest program, and McEver is the foundation’s Vice President of Research.
The 2017 Fleming Scholars, their hometowns and current schools, are:
Abigail Ballard, Norman, Austin College
Monica Davis, Jones, Northern Oklahoma College
Madeline Gish, Edmond, Hillsdale College
Kari Hall, Edmond, University of Oklahoma
Keirah Jefferson, Moore, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
Kristy Johnson, Blanchard, Oklahoma State University
Jarett Lewis, Edmond, Bishop McGuiness High School
James Li, Edmond, Washington University in St. Louis
Han Li, Oklahoma City, Westmoore High School
Joshua Ross, Pryor, Oklahoma State University
William Towler, Edmond, Oklahoma State University
Henry Unterschuetz, Tulsa, University of Oklahoma
Kobby Wiafe, Bethany, Baylor University
For more information on the Fleming Scholar Program, visit www.omrf.org/fleming.