More than two dozen students comprise the largest group of summer lab interns in the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s 76-year history.
Those interns include 16 Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars, six Langston University Biomedical Research Scholars and four John H. Saxon Service Academy Summer Research Program students.
“These programs are a win-win for everyone,” said OMRF Vice President of Human Resources Courtney Stevens Greenwood. “Every summer, our labs benefit from these students’ youthful energy and perspective. For the students, it’s a chance to obtain meaningful biomedical research experience while seeing how their efforts contribute to the next amazing discovery.”
Fleming and Langston scholars will arrive in early June and work with the foundation’s scientists on research projects in areas including autoimmune disease, osteoarthritis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. At the end of the eight-week program, they will author scientific papers and deliver presentations to the foundation’s research staff.
The Fleming Scholars program, founded in 1956, is named for 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 Distinguished Career Scientist Rod McEver, M.D., started their research careers as Fleming Scholars.
The Langston Scholars program, now in its third year, aims to diversify biomedical research in the state. It is a partnership between OMRF and LU, Oklahoma’s only historically Black college or university. Following the internship, Langston students may continue working with their OMRF mentors on ongoing research projects.
The Saxon program compresses an intensive summer internship into three to four weeks. John Saxon III, M.D., a Muskogee physician and OMRF board member since 2000, established the program to honor his father, a West Point graduate who taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy and was a career Air Force pilot.
The 2023 Fleming Scholars, their hometown and schools are:
- Nabaa Al Hashimi, Norman, Norman High School, Princeton University
- Katy Beaudreau, Norman, Norman High School, University of California, Berkeley
- Lindsay Best, Oklahoma City, Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, University of Southern California
- Chloe Cagle, Durant, Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Oklahoma
- Jenna Chan, Oklahoma City, Classen School of Advanced Studies
- Gerson Estrada, Oklahoma City, Classen School of Advanced Studies, University of Southern California
- Andy Gamez-Rico, Oklahoma City, Classen School of Advanced Studies, University of Tulsa
- Bess Glenn, Stillwater, Stillwater High School
- Vivian Ha, Oklahoma City, Westmoore High School, Rice University
- Anna Hayashizaki, Tokyo, Japan, Westmoore High School, University of Oklahoma
- Austin Lopez, Tulsa, Union High School, Oklahoma Baptist University
- Grant McCutchan, Piedmont, Piedmont High School, University of Oklahoma
- Carolyn Sutliff, Edmond, Edmond North High School, Bowdoin College
- Manu Thomas, Mustang, Mustang High School, University of Oklahoma
- Makayla Tillett, Oklahoma City, Putnam City North High School, Oklahoma City University
- Danielle Walker, Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow High School, Texas Southern University
Langston Scholars are:
- Genesis Dambreville, Moore, Moore High School
- Trendon Edwards, Fort Worth, Texas, Fossil Ridge High School
- Amari Griffis, Edmond, Edmond North High School
- J’Taelii Heath, Oklahoma City, Harding Charter Preparatory School
- Faith Porter, Houston, Texas, Hightower High School
- Amia Quinn, St. Louis, Missouri, Riverview Garden High School
Saxon students are:
- Samuel Jun, Oklahoma City, Casady School, U.S. Air Force Academy
- Sean O’Boyle, Steilacoom, Washington, U.S. Naval Academy
- Aba Quainoo, Chantilly, Virginia, West Point
- Timothy Wright, Millville, New Jersey, U.S. Naval Academy