Awards, Endowments, and Scholarships (College of Medicine)

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.


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.

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.

Biomedical Science Graduate Student Awards


Medical Guild Graduate Research Awards

This competition was established in 1975.  One student from each Biomedical Sciences (BMS) concentration is nominated to present their research. A BMS faculty panel determines the ranking of the awards.

Eligibility: Senior-level graduate students from Biomedical Sciences

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”


2020-2021 Biomedical Science Graduate Research Award Winners

Gold Award Winner

Yuxing Xia (Neuroscience); Mentor: Benoit Giasson, Ph.D.; “Pathogenic tau promotes the formation of brain inclusions and brain-gut degeneration in tau SPAM mice”

Silver Award Winners

Emily Helm (Immunology and Microbiology); Mentor: Stephanie Karst, Ph.D.; “A novel neonatal mouse model of norovirus diarrhea to elucidate mechanisms of disease induction”

Mai Tanaka (Cancer Biology); Mentor: Dieter Riemann, Ph.D.; “The multimodal roles of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase in breast cancer bone metastasis”

Chao Xie (Pharmacology and Therapeutics); Mentor: Jeffrey Martens, Ph.D.; “Gene Therapeutic Reversal of Olfactory Impairment in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome: Moving beyond single gene replacement”

Bronze Award Winners

William Dodd (Physiology and Functional Genomics); Mentor: Brian Hoh, M.D.; “Peptide hormone adropin is protective after subarachnoid hemorrhage”

Shanan Natoia Emmanuel (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); Mentors: Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, Ph.D. and Robert McKenna, Ph.D.; “Bench to Bedside: Generation of Variant AAV9 Vectors to Broaden Patient Inclusion to Key Gene Therapy Drugs”

Shu Gul (Genetics); Mentor: Laura Ranum, Ph.D.; “Nuclear export inhibitor KPT-350 shows therapeutic benefits in C9orf72 ALS/FTD models”

Brandon Murphy (Molecular Cell Biology); Mentor: Yehia Daaka, Ph.D.; “Identifying Secreted Factors Essential for Uropathogenic E. coli invasion”


2019-2020 Biomedical Science Graduate Research Award Winners 

Gold Award Winners

Patrick Kellish (Cancer Biology)Mentor: Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D.“Priming immunity against small cell lung cancer (SCLC) with oncolytic virotherapy”


Kristen Skruber (Molecular Cell Biology)Mentor: Eric Vitriol, Ph.D.“Determining how Profilin1 controls the assembly, organization, and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton”

Silver Award Winner

Jacob Andring (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)Mentor: Robert McKenna, Ph.D.“Teaching an Old Enzyme New Tricks: Cu-Carbonic Anhydrase, A Nitrite Reductase”


Bronze Award Winners

Kelly DeMars (Neuroscience)Mentor: Eduardo Candelario-Jalil, Ph.D.“Blocking BET Proteins is Neuroprotective in Ischemic Stroke”


Lance Denes (Genetics)Mentor: Eric Wang, Ph.D.“Microtubule-based Transport is Required to Distribute RNA and Nascent Protein in Skeletal Muscle”


Chao Xie (Pharmacology and Therapeutics)Mentor: Jeffrey Martens, Ph.D.“Gene Therapeutic Reversal of Olfactory Impairment in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome”


Ashley Zuniga (Immunology and Microbiology)Mentor: Dorina Avram, Ph.D.“Dual roles of E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Hectd3 in the regulation of NFĸB and Inflammasome signaling to inhibit inflammation and malignancy in the gut”


2018-19 Biomedical Science Graduate Research Award Winners 

  • Amount: Total $8,750 of awards
2019 MG Competition (44th)
Medical Guild Graduate Research Competition (44th)

Gold Award Winner

  • John Calise (Molecular Cell Biology)  “IMPDH Filaments: Novel Subcellular Structures with Emerging Roles in Cell Biology”

Silver Award Winners

  • Hunter Futch (Neuroscience)  “A Novel High Affinity CRF Antibody Modulates Metabolism and Identifies Glucocorticoids as a Targetable Immune-Checkpoint
  • Danielle Vermilyea (Immunology and Microbiology)  “Peptidylarginine Deiminase Modulates Porphyromonas Gingivalis Biofilm Development”
  • Betty Wang (Pharmacology and Therapeutics)  “Disulfide Bond Disproportionation Agents Activate the Tumor Necrosis Family-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand/Death Receptor 5 Pathway to Kill Highly Resistant Breast Cancer”

 Bronze Award Winners

  • Julie Bray (Cancer Biology)  “Repression of Neuronal Genes Protects the Pancreas from Injuries and Aberrant Plasticity“
  • Jana Jenquin (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)  “Combination Treatment of Erythromycin and Furamidine Rescues Mis-Splicing in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 Models”
  • Casey Keuthan (Genetics)  “STAT3 is a Critical Regulator of the Photoreceptor Stress Response”
  • Lance Riley (Physiology and Functional Genomics)  “The Skeletal Muscle Molecular Clock Regulates Titin Isoform and Sarcomere Length”

Medical Guild Advancement to Candidacy Award

This award was established in 2012 to recognize 3rd year graduate students in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) who have successfully passed their qualifying examinations over the current academic year and excelled in their academic and research performance since enrolling in their studies.  Biomedical Science faculty members representing the areas of concentration determine the award recipients.

  • Eligibility: Biomedical Science graduate students who have risen to candidacy this year.

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.


60th Anniversary Gift

To commemorate our 60th anniversary in 2019, the Guild has endowed the Equal Access Clinic Network with a $250,000 gift.  This endowment should annually yield approximately $9,000 and grow with each year (growth is dependent upon the stock market). This is our first “forever” gift!

Palliative Care Support

Palliative Care is patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. It is extended to patients of all ages across many units and is under the oversight of the Department of Patient and Family Resources at UF Health Shands Hospital.