American Society of Hematology announces recipients of the Minority Medical Student Award

July 06, 2006

(Washington, July 6, 2006) - The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has selected nine medical school students to participate in the 2006 Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP). Awardees receive up to $13,000 in research support and related travel expenses. In addition, each participant will receive a complimentary subscription to Blood, the official journal of ASH, as well as The Hematologist, the Society's newsletter, during medical school and residency years.

The following individuals have been awarded the 2006 MMSAP:

Christina Bennett
Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

Fernando Diaz
Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Katy, TX

Robert Eberhardt
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Qurana Lewis
Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, OK

Josiah Orina
Emory University School of Medicine, Decatur, GA

Mary Rickard
University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA

Margo Rollins
Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL

Naa Sackey
Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Melody Smith
Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine, Tyler, TX

"I feel honored to have the chance to experience what it is like to perform clinical research in the field of hematology. I am also very excited to be able to work with such an experienced research team," said Qurana Lewis, who is working toward a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Oklahoma State University.

Lewis' research project will focus on the long-term cognitive abnormalities of patients who have recovered from thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP), a rare blood disorder characterized by small clots that can block blood vessels and lead to serious neurological problems, fever, abnormal kidney function, abdominal pain, and heart problems. Lewis will be working on this project with her research mentor, James N. George, MD, George Lynn Cross Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and 2005 ASH President.

"Qurana is a wonderful student. She is very bright with wonderful initiative. What she needs are opportunities," remarked Dr. George. "My goal is to teach Qurana to use the skills she acquired with her MPH training at the University of Oklahoma to develop patient-oriented research questions, to become a leader in hematology research and osteopathic medicine."

In 2004, ASH launched the MMSAP as part of the Society's overall Minority Recruitment Initiative. Each year ASH awards up to 10 medical students from the United States and Canada in their early years of training the opportunity to participate in an eight to 12-week summer research experience. For more information about the MMSAP, visit

This award program is supported through 2009 by a grant from Genentech.
The American Society of Hematology ( is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

American Society of Hematology

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