The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has selected 12 Oklahoma students as Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars for 2021.
Those chosen for OMRF’s 65th Fleming class will work alongside OMRF scientists on research projects covering subjects including autoimmune diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease for eight weeks. At the program’s conclusion, scholars will author scientific papers and deliver presentations to the foundation’s research staff.
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,” said OMRF Fleming Scholar Program coordinator Heather Rodriguez. With the program canceled last summer, she said, “It was a group we sincerely missed seeing, and we’re glad to see them return.”
Founded in 1956, the program gives Oklahoma high school and college students hands-on biomedical research experience. “A summer at OMRF is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students. It’s both challenging and rewarding,” said Rodriguez.
The program is named for Sir Alexander Fleming, the British scientist who discovered penicillin and in 1949 came to Oklahoma City to dedicate OMRF’s first building. OMRF Vice President of Clinical Affairs Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., and Vice President of Research Rodger McEver, M.D., started their research careers as Fleming Scholars.
The 2021 Fleming Scholars, their hometowns and schools, are:
- Isabel Alberola, Oklahoma City, Casady High School, Columbia University
- Matle Broomfield, Bethany, Putnam City West High School, Oklahoma City Community College
- Claire Chipinda, Bartlesville, Bartlesville High School, Texas Christian University
- Sidra Jawaid, Edmond, Mercy School Institute, University of Central Oklahoma
- Xinyi “Cindy” Li, Stillwater, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania
- Alex Lin, Ponca City, OSSM, Rice University
- Vanessa Moore, Duncan, Duncan High School, Oklahoma State University
- Cullen Peters, Oklahoma City, OSSM, Duke Kunshan University (China)
- Estella Seagraves, Edmond, Edmond Memorial High School, Oklahoma City University
- David Seo, Owasso, OSSM, University of Tulsa
- David Stefanoff, Midwest City, OSSM, Grinnell College
- Kevin Wiafe, Bethany, OSSM, Duke University
For more information on the Fleming Scholar Program, visit www.omrf.org/fleming.