Fellows from the School of Medicine have outperformed and exceeded expectations in their respective fields, leaving an impressive record of success. Fellowship support has helped many of these outstanding graduate students achieve their goals and aspirations.
Fellowship programs rely largely on government support, which has declined significantly. As a result, the door is open for private philanthropy to have a major impact.
Those who support fellowship programs help to advance science and make the Washington University experience affordable for bright students with limited means. Fellowships also are an opportunity to pay tribute to mentors or loved ones.
Honoring a mentor
Campaign committee member Andrew Chee-Yuen Chan, GM ’86, MD ’86, HS ’89, and his wife Mary Finnorn Chan, HS ’89, established the John P. Atkinson Fellowship to honor his mentor. Through the years, Atkinson, MD, the Samuel B. Grant Professor of Clinical Medicine and chief of the Division of Rheumatology, has helped launch the careers of many physician-scientists.
This fellowship, which also has been supported by others, will be used to recruit the very best pre-doctoral students to train in human immunology — the focus of Atkinson’s long and remarkable research career.
“The institution, and most importantly, the people at the institution have had very positive impacts on my life and career. I would encourage others to reflect on the impact this institution has made in their life, and to think about what they can do to impact future trainees here,” said Andrew Chan.
Advancing basic science
Philip Needleman, GR ’99, emeritus trustee of Washington University and campaign committee member, and his wife, Sima, MSW ’74, have established
two annual fellowships.
“We want to attract the most vibrant and promising pre-doctoral students. To do this, financial support is needed more than ever,” said Philip Needleman, also former professor and head of the Department of Pharmacology.
The Philip and Sima K. Needleman Graduate Fellowships in Regenerative Medicine are under the direction of Lila Solnica-Krezel, PhD, chair of the Department of Developmental Biology (formerly the Department of Pharmacology).
“Regenerative medicine is a rapidly progressing discipline that develops treatments for a wide range of debilitating human diseases,” said Solnica-Krezel. “The Philip and Sima K. Needleman Graduate Fellowships will help to attract the brightest talent into the Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology Program and advance regenerative medicine research at Washington University. With these fellowships, I am also particularly excited about continuing the tradition of scientific excellence established during Dr. Needleman’s tenure as the department chair.”
Helping the next generation
Research scholarships made it possible for Shawn Hu, MD, and his wife, Angela Zeng, PhD, MBA ’05, to come to the U.S. and pursue careers. The couple wants to help others by creating medical research opportunities.
The Shawn Hu and Angela Zeng Fellowships will support three students for one year, helping to restore critical training needs.
“Although our graduate program support grant from the National Institutes of Health received the highest possible score, we still lost three training slots because of general government budget cuts,” explained Barry Sleckman, MD, PhD, the Conan Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine and chief of the division.
“We are very excited to see our donation make a positive impact on people to whom we can relate from our own experience a couple of decades ago,” said Shawn Hu. “We have made a long-term commitment to contribute to the future success of the medical school.”
The Ron and Hanna Evens Fellowship supports a postdoctoral fellowship in the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR).
“Hanna and I want to give back in appreciation for all that the School of Medicine, MIR and the entire Medical Campus has meant to us. Fellowships are fundamental to academic pursuit,” said Ronald G. Evens, MD ’64, formerly president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Elizabeth Mallinckrodt Professor, head of the Department of Radiology and director of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.
“Endowments that are for younger, up-and-coming professionals are especially worthwhile to Washington University and our constant drive to offer the very best care and education.”