OMRF has selected 13 Oklahoma high school and college students as Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars for 2018.
Those selected for OMRF’s 63rd class of 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 research staff.
The students were selected following a competitive statewide application and interview process.
“Year after year, this unique program offers these bright students an opportunity to see if a career in science or medicine is the right path for them, while also providing a rare opportunity to get hands-on lab experience working side by side with some of the most accomplished researchers in the world,” said OMRF Fleming Scholar Program coordinator Heather Hebert. “This experience can spark a passion for knowledge and for research, making it a truly special experience for all involved.”
The Fleming Scholar Program was founded in 1956 as a way to give Oklahoma’s high school and college students hands-on biomedical research experience. The program is named for Sir Alexander Fleming, the famed British scientist, who discovered penicillin and in 1949 came to Oklahoma City to formally dedicate the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’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 2018 Fleming Scholars, their hometowns and current schools, are:
Fares Alrefai, Tulsa, University of Tulsa
Matthew Anderson, Durant, Oklahoma Baptist University
Veronica Chamberlain, Fort Towson, SE Oklahoma State University
Azhia Contreras, Edmond, Edmond North High School
Phillip Douglas, Edmond, Cornell University
Dawson Haworth, Fairview, Oklahoma State University
Nathan Herndon, Minco, Oklahoma State University
Benjamin Houston, El Reno, El Reno High School
Rachel Jordan, Oklahoma City, Texas Christian University
Cheryl Kalapura, Tulsa, Cornell University
McKayla Muse, Edmond, University of Central Oklahoma
Oloruntoun Ogunbase, Oklahoma City, Putnam City West High School
Winston Scrambler, Oklahoma City, Heritage Hall High School
For more information on the Fleming Scholar Program, visit omrf.org/fleming.