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From the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside, the process of ‘translating’ ideas, insights, and discoveries generated through basic scientific inquiry to the treatment or prevention of human disease.

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Fostering Bench to Bedside Research
Student Researcher at CHORI Receives Prestigious HHMI Grant Award

Jameel Johnson, who first worked with CHORI investigator Janelle Noble, PhD, as a staff research assistant in her lab in 2003, has received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant, which will support Mr. Johnson for a year-long fellowship at CHORI under the mentorship of Dr. Noble.

“It’s the first award of its kind to be given to someone at CHORI,” says Dr. Noble.

Both highly competitive and coveted, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute award is specifically designed to target medical students like Mr. Johnson, who just completed his second year at Baylor College of Medicine, rather than post-doctorates. Its prestige comes with commitment in equal measure, however, as students must take an entire year off of medical school to pursue their research.

“The idea of the fellowships,” explains Dr. Noble, “is to get students interested in research so that they might choose research-oriented careers in the future and increase the pool of research-oriented clinicians.”

HHMI emphasizes the importance of bench to bedside research, making CHORI an ideal location for Mr. Johnson’s fellowship. With the direct mentorship of Dr. Noble and access to patient data from Children’s Hospital Oakland, Mr. Johnson will be able to extend the research he conducted as an assistant in the Noble lab.

Targeting the investigation of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) alleles in Type 1 diabetes in the vastly understudied African-American population, Mr. Johnson’s project also represents the excellence in translational research for which CHORI is known.

“The research will point toward predictive genetic testing, improved classification, and enhanced individualized therapy,” says Mr. Johnson.

The Howard Hughes Institute must have agreed with the promise of Mr. Johnson’s proposed research, as he received one of only 66 grant awards in the nation.


Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM

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