OMRF has selected 15 Oklahoma high school and college students as Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars for 2019.
Those selected for OMRF’s 64th Fleming class will spend eight weeks working alongside 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 the foundation’s research staff.
The scholars were selected from a pool of 70 applicants from across the state. A panel of scientists chose the class based on their scientific achievements and demonstrated interest in a career in medical research.
“These students inject a sense of excitement and curiosity into our summers as they seize this unique opportunity,” said OMRF Fleming Scholar Program Coordinator Heather Hebert. “A summer at OMRF is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students at this point in their educational journey. It’s both challenging and rewarding, and it can be a game changer.”
The Fleming Scholar Program was founded in 1956 as a way to give Oklahoma 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 OMRF’s first building.
Two senior OMRF scientists, Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., and Rodger McEver, M.D., started their research careers as Fleming Scholars. James is OMRF’s Vice President of Clinical Affairs and McEver serves as the foundation’s Vice President of Research.
The 2019 Fleming Scholars, their hometowns and current schools, are:
Claire Abbott, Oklahoma City, Heritage Hall High School grad, San Diego State University
Allana Caldwell, Stillwater, Stillwater High School grad, University of Oklahoma
Grace Duginski, Oklahoma City, Bishop McGuiness High School grad, University of Oklahoma
Ashley Gin, Oklahoma City, Putnam City North High School grad, Oklahoma State University
Jared Gregston, Duncan, Aim Academy Red River grad, University of Oklahoma
Alexandra Medcalf, Springer, Lone Grove High School senior
Sara Morris, Deer Creek, Deer Creek High School grad, Clemson University
Ken Nguyen, Oklahoma City, Classen School of Advanced Studies grad, Rice University
Joshua Rogers, Edmond, Oklahoma Christian School grad, Oklahoma State University
Tanvi Saran, Norman, Norman North High School, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Ashley Sartin, Bartlesville, Bartlesville High School grad, Oklahoma State University
Imani Toliver, Tulsa, Booker T. Washington High School senior
Emma Turner, Edmond, Edmond Santa Fe High School grad, Oklahoma State University
William Wang, Norman, Norman North High School senior
Kate Wheeler, Norman, Norman North High School senior