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Graduate School names 2023 Kopchick Fellows; research awardee

January 30, 2023
Tracey Barnett/MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is proud to announce the 2023 recipients of the Dr. John J. and Charlene Kopchick Fellowships; and Kopchick Research Award:

 2023 Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellows

First-Year Fellows:

Vahid Bahrambeigi
Advisor: Anirban Maitra, MBBS

Joan Jacob
Advisor: Kendra Carmon, PhD

Takese McKenzie
Advisor: Jian Hu, PhD

Eyad Shihabeddin
Advisor: Jiaqian Wu, PhD

Oscar Villarreal
Advisor: E. Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD

Tanvi Visal
Advisor: George Calin, MD, PhD

Second-Year Fellows:

Shannon Hartzell
Advisor: Stephen Kry, PhD

Celine Shuet Lin Kong
Advisor: Jichao Chen, PhD

Kyle LaBella
Advisor: Ron DePinho, MD

Sonia Patel
Advisor: John Heymach, MD, PhD

Kareem Wahid
Advisor: Clifton Fuller, MD, PhD

Ruoyu Wang
Advisor: Wenbo Li, PhD

Xu Zhang
Advisor: Fabricio DoMonte, DVM, PhD

2023 Charlene Kopchick Fellow

Cuauhtemoc Ulises Gonzalez (Advisor: Vasanthi Jayaraman, PhD


2022-2023 Dr. John J. Kopchick Research Award

Khondakar Sayef Ahammed (Advisor: Ambro van Hoof, PhD)

These fellowships are funded through a generous $10.5 million endowment established by alumnus John J. Kopchick, Ph.D., and his wife, Charlene.

The Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellowships are awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional character, extracurricular leadership, research excellence and scholarly merit. Each fellowship provides $7,500 directly to the student and an additional $7,500 to support their research and training. These fellowships may be renewed for a total award period of up to two years.

The Charlene Kopchick Fellowship is awarded to a GSBS student who demonstrates unique characteristics beyond merit and financial need. Such characteristics may include but are not be limited to first-generation college graduates entering graduate research; students who exhibit exemplary personal character; uniqueness of background and culture; strong work ethic; perceived leadership qualities and an enthusiastic scientific curiosity. These fellowships provide $8,250 of direct aid to the student and an additional $8,250 to support the student’s research and training. This is a one-time award to the student and is not renewable.

The Dr. John J. Kopchick Research Award is an award given to a GSBS student and their GSBS advisor. It supports up to $50,000 of research expenses over a one-year period. The award is intended to provide pilot funding for innovative research projects in any area of biomedical science. All GSBS students who are in the PhD or MD/PhD degree programs and are in good academic standing are eligible to apply.

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