Awardees & Updates – 2018

2018 Gridley McKim-Smith Women’s Health Fellowship Awards

Catherine (Cate) Omosule is pursuing her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her current research is investigating myostatin inhibition to combat bone fragility in osteogenesis imperfecta also known as brittle bone disease. Cate was born and raised in Ghana and is passionate about advancing education and scientific pursuits for women as well as improving research in bone health and osteoporosis which predominately affects women. Her supervisor wrote that she is “exceptional both academically and professionally [and] is by far one of the most talented, creative and analytical students” with whom she has worked.

Shayan Nazari is pursuing her PhD in molecular and cell biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her current research is investigating the role of breast tissue density in breast cancer, specifically the role of MUC1-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Shayan came to the United States at age 12 from Iran and wrote poignantly to us about her parents’ sacrifices and economic struggles to provide their daughters with educational and professional opportunities not available to girls in their home country. Her supervisor wrote that she is “one of the most enthusiastic students I have worked with..she cares deeply about improving the lives of women in every way possible..and is a very bright student..with a self-motivating drive for scientific research and discovery.”

Stephanie Ersi Davis is pursuing her MD/PhD in neuroscience at Georgetown University. Her research is on the role of IL4I1 on lymphocytes and its effects on multiple sclerosis (MS), including examining gender differences. As an undergraduate, Stephanie attended Barnard College and wrote to us about her parents’ science professions and her sister’s development of MS as her motivation to pursue research with implications for improving treatment and outcomes in this field. Her supervisor wrote that Stephanie was the first to self-initiate applying the lab’s focus to a human model and in doing so took on “highly challenging” research with implications for future MS treatment targets.