Graduate students awarded AMC21 program scholarship to advance biomedical research

Six graduate students in the Academic Medical Center of the 21st Century scholarship program will network with medical professionals, train with top research doctors and receive research funding from the UAB School of Medicine. 
Written by: Dylan Baggiano
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

Two female scientists making medicine at a laboratory. Doctors working together at pharmacy lab wearing protective work wear.Six graduate students in the Academic Medical Center of the 21st Century scholarship program will network with medical professionals, train with top research doctors and receive research funding from the UAB School of Medicine. Six students in the graduate biomedical sciences program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have received Academic Medical Center of the 21st Century scholarships from the UAB School of Medicine. The incoming AMC21 scholars were selected from the entering biomedical sciences class of 2021-2022 for their academic excellence and prior research accomplishments.

The AMC21 Scholars Program began in 2017 and provides scholarships to attract top candidates in the biomedical science disciplines. The scholarship program is part of UAB’s commitment to educating the next generation of research and medical professionals.

The incoming class of AMC21 students includes Ashley Adamson, Courtney Barkley, Abbigael Eli, Ryan Strickland, Patrick Song and Natalie Remiszewski. Each of these students will receive $5,000 per year, for two years, to be used for scientific discretionary funds. The awarded amount supplements participants’ training and education opportunities, allowing them to network with scientists at other institutions, and helps them reach short- and long-term career goals.

For Adamson, the AMC21 scholarship offers flexibility in selecting rotations and mentors for her neurology research.

“Being designated as an exceptional student not only is a true honor, but also is opening several doors with potential research mentors,” Adamson said. “The funds allow me to purchase equipment and attend conferences earlier on in my career, rocketing me past where I could be otherwise, so early on.”

Strickland said the AMC21’s highest level of “networking, mentoring and funding” also creates a strong foundation to support him in his neuroscience studies. Forming relationships with prominent scientists in cancer biology through this program can lead to additional grants and fellowships, according to Song.

“Joining the AMC21 scholars program gives me the ability to draw from the experience of the AMC21 scientific mentoring committee,” Song said. “Since I’m interested in revolutionizing cancer treatment, it is important for me to surround myself with forward-thinking individuals who are seeking ways to improve cancer therapeutics.”

When Barkley was first offered the AMC21 scholarship, she says, it influenced her decision to attend UAB — since she did not want to forfeit a mentorship with top members of Birmingham’s medical community. It also presented other unmatched opportunities for professional development. Remiszewski says she appreciates the emphasis on student support for her research and eagerly awaits the new and exciting resources at her disposal.

To Eli, a major benefit of this program is the $10,000 lab funding stipend for her cancer biology research.

“If there is a lab you want to join that might be hesitant to accept you based on stipend support concerns, the support from AMC21 would solve this issue,” Eli said. “It is also advantageous to be able to attend conferences on a predetermined budget, rather than having to apply for separate grants and asking your lab for travel funding.”

Once students have progressed through the graduate biomedical sciences program — which usually takes 16 to 18 months — the AMC21 program offers an additional $10,000 lab funding stipend to be used for their research at any lab of their choosing, making them top competitors in the application process. For more information on the AMC21 scholarship, visit here.