Gabriel Romero, OHSU School of Medicine Physiology and Pharmacology Graduate Program, is a recipient of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2017 Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. Antoinette Foster of OHSU’s Neuroscience Graduate Program received the national award in 2016.
Interested in sensory systems and synaptic transmission, Romero joined OHSU’s Physiology and Pharmacology Graduate Program in 2015 to earn his Ph.D. He is recognized for his research to determine the normal function of the medial olivocochlear reflex, which plays a role in protecting the auditory system from noise-induced hearing loss.
Romero's goal is to become an independent research scientist and a role model for underrepresented students. His fellowship, he said, “will help bring attention to the importance of equality and inclusiveness in the biomedical sciences, which is currently lacking,” while also providing opportunities to broaden his professional skills and network.
Mollie Marr, OHSU School of Medicine Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program, is an ARCS Foundation Scholar. Interested in how adversity and traumatic experiences affect the brain, emotions and behavior and the development of psychopathology, she is also pursuing her M.D. in order to become a physician scientist.
Marr is a leader and a creative spirit. She is a co-founder of OHSU's student chapter of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). Because she is a history buff with film and script writing experience through her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, the AMWA invited Marr to collaborate on a documentary on women physicians in World War I. She worked with the OHSU Library to identify women physicians from Oregon for the film. “At Home Over There” is being shown at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. in November 2017.
Yves Gacinya, OHSU School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, survived the civil war in Rwanda in the 1990s and joined extended family in Oregon in 2006. Skilled and kind doctors and nurses who treated him for malaria after he arrived in Portland inspired him to become a certified medical assistant. A job with an OHSU clinic fueled his interest in not only patient care but basic biomedical science. A professor pointed him toward the physician assistant profession. Gacinya applied to a number of P.A. program. He chose OHSU because of its approach.
“I liked the idea of the collaboration with other medical professionals and being in the same building,” said Gacinya, member of the OHSU P.A. class of 2019 and a Presidential Scholar. “Program leaders also care about student success not only when in school but after graduation as well. The school stresses giving a lot of feedback and that helps us students get better. The faculty appreciates our feedback too.”
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