Columbia Selects Nine Medical Students To Participate In Doris Duke Clinical Research Program

New York, NY – May 16, 2001 - Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) has selected nine medical students to participate in the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship (CRF) Program, which encourages medical students to pursue a career in clinical research by giving them a year off from their formal schooling to experience clinical research first hand. P&S received $625,000 from the Doris Duke Foundation to support the program over five and a half years. Every year, seven participating medical schools will each enroll a minimum of five medical students as fellows in their CRF programs. P&S has committed matching funds to support an additional four fellows per year – making this the largest CRF program at any participating institution. Participating departments at P&S include surgery, neurosurgery, medicine (division of endocrinology), orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry (division of child psychiatry), and anesthesiology. Funds will be used to provide stipends of $20,000 to support the nine medical students during their fellowship year. The program defines clinical research as research in which the fellow or a colleague directly interacts with human subjects, such as research conducted with human subjects or material of human origin. “This is a wonderful opportunity that will provide medical students with invaluable training and experience in clinical research,” says Dr. Donald Landry, associate professor of medicine at P&S and program director for Columbia’s CRF program. “The pool of physician-scientists interested in pursuing careers in clinical research has been declining. At the same time, the demands on clinical researchers are increasing. We are grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for having the insight to foster programs that will encourage students to consider clinical research in its most sophisticated form as a career choice.” Dr. Landry will manage the program and ensure that the fellows are matched with appropriate mentors. P&S received 27 applications from eligible U.S. medical students, which was among the highest number of applicants at any participating institution. In addition, nine of the 27 applicants were P&S students, placing P&S among the highest number of internal candidates. The following candidates have been offered admission and will begin their fellowships on July 1, 2001: Stephanie Conte, Columbia University; Alexander Coon, Columbia University; David Horgan, Columbia University; Grace Kim, Columbia University; Alexander Opotowsky, Columbia University; Brian Su, Columbia University; Michelle Denburg, Cornell University; Elizabeth Gerard, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; and Daniel Sahlein, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Other institutions participating in the CRF program are University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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CRF, Donald Landry, Doris Duke Foundation, Harvard Medical School