Awards and Scholarships

The Guild provides awards, endowments, and scholarships to both medical students and biomedical graduate students in the College of Medicine.  Although the awards have changed over the decades, our support to acknowledge the best and the brightest students remains steadfast. Click here to read about our endowed funds.

The Thomas and Emily Maren Award

Medical Students ($2,000)

The Thomas and Emily Maren Award was originally established by Emily Sabah-Maren in 1999 as a scholarship for medical students to honor Dr. Thomas Maren, Graduate Research Professor Emeritus and founding chair of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Department.  It reflects the Marens’ desire to promote quality medical student education and healthcare for the underserved. In 2019, this became an award to the Equal Access Clinic Network to support the student-run clinics that care for our community’s medically underserved.

Biomedical Science Students ($11,000)

The Medical Guild Graduate Research Award, $8,000, was established in 1975.  During this competition a senior level graduate student from each of the biomedical science areas of concentration presents his or her research.  A panel of biomedical science faculty members determines the ranking of the gold, silver, and bronze awards and how the money will be distributed. Read more about the April 17, 2024 competition here.

The Medical Guild Advancement to Candidacy Award, $3,000, was established in 2012 to recognize three or four third-year biomedical science students who have completed their qualifying examinations over the current academic year, and have excelled in academic and research performance.  A panel of biomedical science faculty members determines the selections.  The award is $750 for each student.  If less than $3,000 is awarded, the Interdisciplinary Program Director has discretion to apply the remaining funds toward increasing the Medical Guild Graduate Research Award.

2023-2024 Medical Guild Research Symposium Award Winners

Gold Award Winner:

Natalie Johnson from the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Dan Wesson) “Sniffing is initiated by dopamine’s actions on ventral striatum neurons.”

Silver Award Winners:  

Phillip Mackie from the Neuroscience Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei) “Enteric macrophages shape synucleinopathy progression via a C1q-dependent mechanism”

Michael Dougherty from the Cancer Biology Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Christian Jobin) “Genome-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screening reveals the role of PSMD4 in colibactin-mediated cell cycle arrest”

Amy Peiper from the Immunology and Microbiology Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Stephanie Karst) “Maternal regulation of neonatal bile acid metabolism determines heightened neonatal vulnerabilty to norovirus diarrhea”

3rd Place Bronze Award Winners:

Tara Hawkinson from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Ramon Sun) “Interrogating N-linked protein glycosylation metabolium in mouse and human models of Alzheimer’s Disease”

Bryan Alava from the Physiology and Functional Genomics Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Karyn Esser) “Skeletal muscle weakness as a peripheral symptom of tauopathy”

Gabriela Regard-Kushner from the Molecular Cell Biology Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Bernadett Papp) “Characterization of GGT^ in breast cancer: implications as a biomarker, impact on tumor progression and cell line viability”

Baylea Davenport from the Genetics Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Helen Jones) “Mitigation of placental insufficiency and fetal growth restriction through IGF1 gene therapy in a guinea pig model”

2022-2023 Biomedical Science Graduate Research Award Winners

Gold Award Winner

Rachel Newsome (Cancer Biology); Mentor: Christian Jobin, Ph.D.; “Microbial-derived immunostimulatory small molecules synergize with anti-PD-1 therapy lung cancer”

Silver Award Winners

Caitlin Baumer-Harrison (Physiology and Functional Genomics); Mentor: Annette De Kloet, Ph.D.; “Alleviating hypertension through modulation of specific vagal nerves”

Mario Chang (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology); Mentor: Matthew Merritt, Ph.D.; “Assessing Chemotherapeutic Efficacy in Vivo Using Deuterium Metabolic Imaging”

Cora Hart (Pharmacology & Therapeutics); Mentor: Lee Sweeney, Ph.D.; “Getting to the Heart of DMD”

Grace Lloyd (Neuroscience); Mentor: Benoit Giasson, Ph.D.; “Strain Diversity in Synucleinopathies”

Bronze Award Winners

Frederick Ashby (Genetics); Mentor: Coy Heldermon, M.D., Ph.D.; “Transduction Efficiency of 19 Barcoded AAV Capsid Variants within Sanfilippo Syndrome Type-B C57/BL6 Mice Compared to Wild-type”

Mollie Huber (Immunology & Microbiology); Mentor: Mark Atkinson, Ph.D.; “Declines in B Cell Function and Glucose Responsiveness are Independent of Insulitis during T1D Pathogenesis”

Sadia Sarwar (Molecular Cell Biology); Mentor: Alexander Ishov, Ph.D.; “Exploring Novel Chemotherapeutic Interventions to Overcome Taxane Therapy Resistance in Castration Resistant Prostrate Cancer”

2021-2022 Biomedical Science Graduate Research Award Winners

Gold Award Winner

Adithya Gopinath (Neuroscience); Mentors: Habibeh Khoshbouei, Pharm.D., Ph.D. and Wolfgang J. Streit, Ph.D.; ” DAT and TH expression marks human Parkinson’s disease in peripheral immune cells”

Silver Award Winners

Tiffany Frey (Immunology and Microbiology); Mentor: Michael McIntosh, Ph.D.; “Syncytin-1 promotes lytic activation of Epstein-Barr virus through activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway”

Julien Habif (Pharmacology and Therapeutics); Mentor: Jeffrey Martens, Ph.D.; “A novel role for a ciliary GTPase in the regulation of neuronal maturation of olfactory sensory neurons”

Vrunda Trivedi (Cancer Biology); Mentor: Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D.; “Personalized immunotherapy vaccines for malignant brain tumors using cancer immunogenetics and selective gene enrichment strategy”

Bronze Award Winners

Marc Mcleod (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); Mentor: Matthew Merritt, Ph.D.; “Real-time direct assessment of hepatic B-oxidation with deuterium magnetic resonance in NAFLD”

Ryan Hildebrandt (Genetics); Mentor: Eric Wang, Ph.D.; “Active mRNA transport mechanisms are controlled by modular domains of musclebline-like proteins and dysregulated in myotonic dystrophy Type 1”

Collin Douglas (Physiology and Functional Genomics); Mentor: Karyn Esser, Ph.D.; “A novel approach to investigate sarcomere structure and its regulation by the skeletal muscle circadian clock”

Bin Li (Molecular Cell Biology); Mentor: Shuang Huang, Ph.D.; “Binding of DNA PK and FAP in lipid raft facilities ovary tumorigenesis through the NF-KB/surviving functional axis”

2024 Advancement to Candidacy Winners

Council of Academic Chairs Scholarship Award (First Place):  Jane Hsi from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Rob McKenna)

Advancement to Candidacy Finalists:

Giavanna Paterno from the Neuroscience Concentration (Mentor Dr. Benoit Giasson)

Baylea Davenport from the Genetics Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Helen Jones)

Sarah Sniffen from the Neuroscience Concentration (Mentor: Dr. Dan Wesson)

2023 Advancement to Candidacy Award Winners

Mario Chang; Mentor: Matthew Merritt, Ph.D.

Zane Moreland; Mentor: Jonathan Bird, Ph.D.

Samantha Smith; Mentor: Sara Burke, Ph.D.

Click here for information about the UF Medical Guild’s current endowment funds.