Program Description:  The Department of Medicine (DOM) announces the 2016 Koopman Medical Student Research Excellence Award which will be given to up to three outstanding medical students this year.  

Koopman ResearchWilliam J. Koopman, MDThis award is named in honor of Distinguished Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Medicine William J. Koopman, MD, who earned worldwide recognition for defining the critical role synovial tissue and autoantibodies play in rheumatoid arthritis. His insights into the molecular biology of the disease inspired novel treatments currently being used today, including arthritis-fighting proteins, a monoclonal antibody, and even a vaccine. His distinguished research career is a model and an inspiration for all young investigators.

Medical students with an interest in medical or health-related research are encouraged to apply for this prestigious eight-week summer internship program with a research mentor who has a primary or secondary appointment in the DOM. The project will be conducted during the summer between the MS1 and MS2 years.

Applicants should submit an application that includes a 1-2 paragraph description of research interests and career goals, and a 1-2 page research proposal that should include:

  1. A brief Introduction with relevant background information and that identifies the target problem,
  2. Objectives that state the hypotheses to be tested and the specific aim(s) of the study,
  3. Methods including a brief description of the general methods to be employed, and
  4. A Bibliography to include 1-5 relevant papers cited in your proposal.
Identification of a prospective mentor, and prior discussion of the project with the mentor, is required. While previous research experience is certainly considered, an important goal of the internship is also to develop highly motivated students who are new to biomedical research. During the summer training period, applicants will also be required to attend a six session lecture series entitled, "Understanding the Research Enterprise," which addresses research ethics, hypothesis generation, human and animal welfare issues, and more. 

Moreover, it is expected that each trainee will present results of their research experience as a poster presentation at the Medical Student Research Day and the DOM Trainee Research Symposium in the year following the training period. Awardees will also be recognized at the annual DOM Honors Reception. A stipend of $500/week will be awarded to successful candidates. Members of the DOM Internship Review Committee may assist in the identification of mentors. If assistance is needed, please contact ShaDel Williams at

Eligibility Criteria: First year medical students are eligible to apply for three available positions.

Application Process: Completed applications, signed by the applicant and the faculty mentor, must be submitted by February 26, 2016, for consideration of internship appointments during the following summer. A copy of the faculty mentor’s current biosketch should also be provided.

Applications will be reviewed and scored by the Internship Review Committee. This panel is comprised of physicians and basic researchers representing divisions within the DOM. Review criteria include how well the applicant has identified their mentor and their research goals.

Download the application form here. 

Email Submission: All applications must be submitted by the deadline above to:
ShaDel Nix Williams, J.D.
Program Director III
Department of Medicine Chairman's Office, BDB 405

Interview and Final Selection:

Six semi-finalists will be invited to interview with Internship Review Committee members in the second week of March 2016 to discuss their research interests and potential faculty mentors. Three finalists will be selected. The successful applicants (and mentors) will provide a one-page abstract describing the summer training plan and submit this to the IRC by mid-May 2016. Submission of the abstract will be required for final approval of the Internship position.

Previous Awardees by Year


Brandi Baker
S. Louis Bridges, MD, PhD 

Guy Handley
J. Edwin Blalock, PhD
Pulmonary/Allergy/Critical Care


Chad Colon
Suzanne Oparil, MD
Cardiovascular Disease

John Thomas
Anath Shalev, MD
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Nick Scanlon
Paul Goepfert, MD
Infectious Diseases


Kristin Olson
Christina Muzny, MD
Infectious Diseases

Ynhi Thai
Andrea Cherrington, MD
Preventive Medicine

Timothy Fernandez
Eric Sorscher, MD
Hematology & Oncology


Kelsey Real
Kellie Flood, MD
Gerontology/Geriatrics/Palliative Care

Koushik Kasanagottu
Monika Safford, MD
Preventive Medicine

Salmaan Kamal
Stefan Kertesz, MD, MSc
Preventive Medicine