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Current MD-PhD Student- Shariq Ali

Shariq Ali

Name: Shariq Ali

Year in Program: GY2

Undergrad University: University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Mentor: Erik Rytting, PhD

Graduate Program: Pharmacology and Toxicology


    Research Interests

  • Polymer chemistry and biomaterials

    Honors & Awards

  • Donaghey Scholar, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Graduated magna cum laude from University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Vice President - American Chemical Society, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Chapter
  • Vice President - Model United Nations/Arab League, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Dean's List and Chancellor's List, University of Arkansas at Little Rock


  • (pending publication) The Effects of Co-Solvents on the Reaction of Amino-Terminated Polystyrene with Fullerene (Journal of Applied Polymer Science).


  • 2010 - 239th ACS National Meeting: Synthesis and Characterization of Polymer Tethered Fullerene
  • 2010 - Arkansas Academy of Sciences: Synthesis and Characterization of Polymer Tethered Fullerene
  • 2011 - 241st ACS National Meeting: Cosolvent Effects on the Synthesis of Polymer Tethered Fullerene
  • 2011 - UALR Student Research Exposition: Synthesis of polymer-tethered fullerene by an azide-fullerene coupling reaction

    Hobbies or just something about yourself in general:

  • I speak Urdu, a mixture of Farsi and Hindi. I enjoy playing the guitar and drawing.

Career Development

The career development of an MD-PhD student is critically important and extends out well past the date of graduation with the dual degrees. The UTMB MD-PhD Program carefully guides and nurtures students throughout the Program. Early in the Program, critical issues are mentor selection and choice of a graduate program. MD-PhD students meet regularly with a faculty advisor, a student "big sibling" and members of the advisory committee. Opportunities to be exposed to research opportunities are provided through Program activities as well as the scientific activities on campus. Most students do their initial laboratory rotation during the summer before starting medical school. Additional laboratory rotations can be completed during the summer before the first and second years of medical school and after the second year of medical school. Once students are established in their labs, they are guided through their research by a mentor and dissertation committee.

For MD-PhD students, selection of the dissertation committee is essential and our Program requires students to include a member who is an MD scientist who can provide guidance on career progress and residency selections. As thesis defense approaches, students design their optimal clinical experiences with members of the MD-PhD committee to maximize chances to obtain the types of residency training that will be most compatible with further development as a physician scientist. The Program runs career guidance seminars to alert students to many of the important issues, pitfalls and milestones that they will need to navigate in the future. These include the pros and cons of short-track residencies, the need for additional postdoctoral training, and how to select and negotiate a first faculty appointment. The UTMB MD-PhD graduate is thus well positioned to make the most out of the advantages that MD-PhD careers offer.