Program Description:  The Department of Medicine (DOM) announces the 2018 Koopman Medical Student Research Excellence Award which will be given to up to three outstanding medical students this year.  

Koopman ResearchWilliam J. Koopman, MD. Photo courtesy of UAB Archives.This 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.

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, DOM Trainee Research Symposium, and a DOM Clinical Research Seminar 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. 

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

Interview and Final Selection: Six semi-finalists will be invited to interview with Internship Review Committee members in the third week of March 2018 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 2018. Submission of the abstract will be required for final approval of the Internship position.

Previous Awardees by Year

[ 2016 ]

Stephanie Donaldson
Suzanne Oparil, MD
Cardiovascular Disease

Joshua Jackson
Jessy Deshane, PhD
Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

Benjamin Smood 
Palaniappan Sethu, PhD
Cardiovascular Disease

[ 2015 ]

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

Koushik Kasanagottu 
Monika Safford, MD
Preventive Medicine

Salmaan Kamal 
Stefan Kertesz, MD, MSc 
Preventive Medicine

[ 2014 ]

Kristin Olson 
Christina Muzny, MD
Infectious Diseases

Ynhi Thai 
Andrea Cherrington, MD 
Preventive Medicine

Timothy Fernandez 
Eric Sorscher, MD
Hematology and Oncology

[ 2013 ]

Chad Colon 
Suzanne Oparil, MD
Cardiovascular Disease

John Thomas 
Anath Shalev, MD
Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism

Nick Scanlon 
Paul Goepfert, MD 
Infectious Diseases

[ 2012 ]

Brandi Baker 
S. Louis Bridges, MD, PhD 
Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology

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