FOR RELEASE: April 14, 2006

GALVESTON, Texas — Six graduates of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston School of Medicine will study with mentors from the institution as participants in the 2006-2007 Jeane B. Kempner Scholars program. The program is funded through the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund.

Established in 1956, the Jeane B. Kempner Scholars program provides financial aid to exceptional students attending UTMB to assist and encourage them to pursue advanced studies in the fields of internal medicine and surgery.

Selected by the UTMB Fellowship Committee, the 2006-2007 scholars each will receive a stipend based on National Institutes of Health guidelines. Awards for this year totaled $309,180.

“I am certainly pleased with the quality of the individuals who applied for this scholarship and for the projects they propose to accomplish,” Valerie M. Parisi, dean of the medical school, said. “This is a significant and critical award in the lives of several of our potential faculty members and I can think of no finer investment in the future.”

The scholars are:

• Dr. Vincent Pagès, for studies with Dr. Louise Prakash, professor of molecular science, in a program titled “Translesion DNA Synthesis in Eukaryotic Cells.”
• Dr. Shawn Larson, for studies with Dr. B. Mark Evers, professor of surgery, in a program titled “PTEN Function and Regulation in the Intestine.”
• Dr. Adrianna A. Paulucci, for studies with Dr. Kathleen L. O’Connor, assistant professor at the UTMB Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology, in a program titled “Spatial Distribution of PKA Activity and its Control of Integrins β1 and α6β4.”
• Dr. Odutayo O. Odunuga, for studies with Dr. Henry F. Epstein, professor and chair of the UTMB Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, in a program titled “Molecular Characterization of the UNC-45:Myosin Interaction in Muscle.”
• Dr. David R. McGivern, for studies with Dr. Stanley M. Lemon, professor of microbiology and immunology, in a program titled “The Effects of HCV Infection on the Mitotic Spindle Checkpoint.”
• Dr. Ruby Tiwari, for studies with Dr. Randall M. Goldblum, professor of pediatrics, in a program titled “Role of Epitope Structure and Orientation in Allergenicity.”

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
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