Presidential Scholars Program

This program aims to recruit outstanding graduate students to all of our graduate school of biomedical science programs. The most outstanding candidates for this highly competitive program receive substantial financial supplements to the normal graduate stipends and academic enrichment activities with an outstanding peer group.

Each year, up to five (5) incoming students are selected to join the program.

Read about the selection process.

Each scholar will receive:

  • a $5,000 annual stipend supplement above the normal graduate fellowship for up to 5 years of study,
  • a one-time $3,000 amount to defray relocation and initial housing costs, and
  • other benefits.

For questions or additional information, please contact us at

Recent News/Publications/Abstracts by Presidential Scholars:
  • Stephanie Foster was selected for funding by UTMB's T32 Biodefense Training Program for the 2017-2018 academic year, received a travel award for and presented a poster at the 2017 American Society for Virology annual meeting, and received a travel award from the McLaughlin Foundation for her poster presentation at the 2017 McLaughlin Colloquium.
  • Ashley Nilson received the 2017 Junior Faculty Award at the 13th International Congress on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases in Vienna, Austria.
  • Castillo-Carranza DL, Nilson AN, Van Skike CE, Jahrling JB, Patel K, Garach P, Gerson JE, Sengupta U, Abisambra J, Nelson P, Troncoso J, Ungvari Z, Galvan V and Kayed R. Cerebral microvascular accumulation of tau oligomers in Alzheimer’s disease and related tauopathies. Aging and Disease (May 2017).
  • Nilson AN*, English KC*, Gerson JE, Whittle TB, Crain CN, Xue J, Sengupta U, Castillo-Carranza DL, Zhang W, Gupta P, & Kayed R. Tau oligomers associate with inflammation in the brain and retina of tauopathy mice and in neurodegenerative disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease (January 2017).  * Authors contributed equally **featured in press release on JAD website.
  • Joseph Saenz's dissertation defense - May 27, 2016 - "Facets of Socioeconomic Position and the Onset and Progression of Functional Limitation in Mexico"
  • Congratulations 2016 Presidential Scholar graduates: Julia Gerson and Sarah Swinford-Jackson!
  • Sengupta U, Nilson AN, & Kayed R. The role of amyloid-β oligomer dynamics in toxicity, propagation, and immunotherapy. eBioMedicine (In Press).
  • Julia Gerson: Featured in an NPR story (link) about the Society for Neuroscience's November 2014 meeting in Washington, DC and her research on toxic tau
  • Gerson JE, Sengupta U, Lasagna-Reeves C, Guerrero-Muñoz M, Troncoso J, Jackson G, & Kayed R (2014). Characterization of tau oligomeric seeds in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 2, 73.
  • Gerson JE, Castillo-Carranza, DL, & Kayed R (2014). Advances in Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Tauopathies: Moving Towards the Specific Targeting of the Most Toxic Tau Species. ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
  • Hermance M, Thangamani S. Proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines at the skin interface during Powassan virus transmission. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 April; doi:10.1038/jid.2014.150
  • Hermance M, Marques dos santosR, Heinze D, Hausser N, Bouyer D, Thangamani S. Detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in ticks collected from Missouri, USA. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2014 May; 3,e34; doi:10.1038/emi.2014.31
  • Rolls BA, Aguilera-Aguirre L, Hallberg LM, Boldogh I, Halayko AJ, Ameredes BT.  Carbon Monoxide Modulation of mRNA in Human Airway Smooth Muscle Cells. The Toxicologist. Vol. 138(1): 921, 2014.
  • Rolls BA, Aguilera-Aguirre L, Hallberg LM, Boldogh I, Halayko AJ, Ameredes BT. Comparison of Intracellular mRNA Modulation and GM-CSF Release in Donor-Matched hTERT Immortalized and Primary Human Airway Smooth Muscle Cells. Am. J. Resp. Crit. Care Med. Vol 189: A5315, 2014.
  • Saenz J & Wong R. 2014. “A Life Course Approach to Mortality in Mexico.” Salud Pública de México, forthcoming.
  • Anastasio, N.C., Liu, S., Maili, L., Swinford, S.E., Lane, S.D., Fox, R.G., Hamon, S.C., Nielsen, D.A., Cunningham, K.A., Moeller, F.G. Impaired Serotonin2C Receptor (5-HT2CR) Function Is Implicated in Elevated Cue Reactivity in Cocaine Dependence: A Translational Approach. Transl Psychiatry, e369, 2014.