Awardees & Updates – 2016

2016 Gridley McKim Smith Women’s Health Fellowship Awards – 2

Fatemeh Ostadossein, MS, is a third year PhD candidate in bioengineering at the University of Illinois, Carle Foundation Hospital. She graduated #1 in her class at Sharif University in Iran. Her research pursuits are in the field of nanomedicine and targeting cancer stem cells to combat breast cancer. She says she is motivated to pursue a research career in this field because of her interest in the subject and because of several family members affected by gynecological cancers. Her advisor describes her as “outstanding…(the) best performing graduate student in (his) lab.” He said that her drive, scientific understanding and intellectual capability are all the more impressive coming from a young woman from this part of the world; and that he believes she will significantly contribute to cancer research.

Amrita Pai, MS, is a third year PhD candidate in biochemistry, hypertension and translational biomedical science at Georgetown University Medical Center. Her research is about immune mechanisms that contribute to hypertension in women and identifying new genes that are associated with hypertension and ovarian hormone loss (due to ovarian failure, menopause and elective oophorectomies). Amrita has received awards for her research presentations including second place among all postdoc students at Georgetown’s department of medicine research day last year. Her advisor describes her as “highly accomplished”; “(an) exceptional, thoughtful, productive and creative (student).” Amrita is very enthusiastic about living in the United States and having the opportunity to study here. She wrote to us about how her family is of “modest means” and that her parents have “worked hard to pay for their children’s education (which) has always been of prime importance.” She also told us that coming from India she knows well the “problems of gender inequality” and that she is motivated to contribute to medicine because “even in biomedical research (studies involving) females are grossly under-represented.”

2016 Iris Klarman Women’s Health Fellowship Award

Riccardo Gottardi, PhD, is a fifth year post-doc fellow in orthopaedic regenerative medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research is examining gender differences in osteoarthritis and joint damage, specifically the effect of sex hormones on cartilage in menopausal women (who are disproportionately affected by this disease). He has an impressive list of awards and academic success. In talking to Riccardo, it is clear that he is not only capable and highly motivated, but also passionate about improving the lives of women suffering from these diseases. His advisor wrote that Riccardo is “one of the brightest and highly ranked trainees (in our) department.”