Heritage College D.O./Ph.D. students receive Endocrine Society Summer Research Fellowship

Apr 1, 2016

Elizabeth Jensen and Ashley Patton, Heritage College D.O./Ph.D. students (ATHENS, Ohio) Two students from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine have been awarded highly competitive research fellowships, which are given to promising undergraduates, medical students and first-year graduate students to pursue careers in endocrinology. Ashley Patton, a fourth-year D.O./Ph.D. student, and Elizabeth Jensen, a second-year D.O./Ph.D. student, are among 15 awardees chosen nationwide by the Endocrine Society to receive a stipend for research and an expense-paid trip to the society’s annual meeting next year.

“The Summer Research Fellowship is a very prestigious program that attracts applicants from around the country,” said Heritage College Associate Dean of Research and Innovation Sonia M. Najjar, Ph.D. “I am thrilled that Ashley and Elizabeth have received the fellowship, which demonstrates both the caliber of our students and the quality of the Heritage College’s dual degree programs. For the Endocrine Society to grant two of our students this competitive fellowship in the same funding period speaks volumes about the standing of our lead scientists and principal investigators among their peers in the field of endocrinology and diabetes.”

The stipend provided by the Endocrine Society allows recipients to conduct a summer research project. Patton will work with her mentors, Associate Professor of Specialty Medicine Kelly McCall, Ph.D., and Professor of Endocrinology Frank Schwartz, M.D., on her dissertation, which is focused on the prevention of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease caused by a high-fat diet. Specifically, the fellowship will support cell culture studies she is conducting to identify the role of inflammation in the disease process. Jensen will be studying the influence of growth hormone and diet on the gut microbiome with Darlene Berryman, Ph.D., R.D.N., executive director of The Diabetes Institute and professor in the Heritage College’s Department of Specialty Medicine.

“This fellowship is a valuable experience for our students in developing their careers in research and academic medicine and brings high visibility to our diabetes-related research efforts at our institution,” said Berryman.

In addition to receiving a stipend to support their research, the fellowship also sends the students to the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting to participate in workshops that help prepare them for independent careers in research.

“The advantage of attending the annual Endocrine Society meeting is to meet and interact with nationally and internationally known endocrinology scientists and clinicians through mentoring, lectures and receptions. In addition, the students also learn how to share and communicate their science with others in the form of poster or oral presentations,” said Endocrine Society Trainee & Career Development Core Committee Co-chair Lauren Fishbein, M.D., Ph.D., M.T.R. “The Endocrine Society feels strongly that it is important to nurture the next generation of basic and clinical researchers in endocrine and hormone science within endocrinology and other fields in science and medicine.”

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE.