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SOM Tops List of Winners of Prestigious Travel Fellowships in Tropical Medicine

Monday, November 11, 2013

 Dr. Benjamin Kean

On September 4, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) announced the 2013 recipients of their Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowships in Tropical Medicine. Through a highly competitive process, 20 Fellows from 12 medical schools were selected. Four of the honorees were from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, more than any other medical school.

This unique Fellowship is the only medical-student award dedicated to nurturing a career path for physician-scientists in tropical medicine. It is awarded annually to full-time medical students at accredited medical schools in North America. Fellows receive airfare and up to $1,000 in living expenses for a clinical training or research project that takes place in an area where tropical diseases are endemic.

“The research projects of the Fellows expand their cultural and international understanding, and expand their scientific network, which will serve them for the rest of their professional life - ultimately leading them to a fulfilling career that improves the lives of the millions of individuals suffering needlessly from tropical disease,” said ASTMH President David H. Walker, MD, from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. 

The Fellowship is named in honor of Benjamin H. Kean, MD, (1912-1993), an internationally acclaimed tropical medicine expert. Dr. Kean is credited with discovering the causes of several diseases, including turista or travelers’ diarrhea. A teacher, researcher and practitioner who was committed to the idea that early, hands-on experience in the developing world is the best way to stimulate a career in tropical medicine, Dr. Kean was instrumental in helping medical students obtain these experiences.

The four award recipients from the School of Medicine are:

Ameer Abutaleb, MS-IV
Project: Clinical Experience in Tropical Infectious Diseases Affecting Egyptian Adults and Children
Location: Cairo, Egypt

Sarah Boudova, MD/PhD Student
Project: The Effects of Malaria in Pregnancy on Child Immunity
Location: Blatyre, Malawi

Sam Du, MS-II
Project: The Relationship of Serum Cytokines and their Cellular Sources with Visceral Leishmaniasis Disease Progression"
Location: Natal, Brazil

Genna Jerrard, MS-II
Project: Molecular Markers for Artemisinin-Resistant Falciparum Malaria
Location: Yangon, Myanmar

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