June 29, 2007

VUSM student lands IDSA scholarship

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Toyin Okanlawon

VUSM student lands IDSA scholarship

Second-year Vanderbilt University School of Medicine student, Toyin Okanlawon, has received an Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Summer Scholarship for Medical Students.

He will receive $2,000 in support of his Emphasis Project, which he hopes to complete this summer.

Students in any year at a U.S. medical school are eligible for this award. According to the IDSA, the scholarship activity must focus on pediatric or adult infectious diseases and may involve either clinical or research activities. The scholarships are designed to get talented medical students interested in the infectious diseases specialty.

This year, an exceptionally high number of applications from medical students across the United States were submitted, and the IDSA awarded 50 scholarships.

Okanlawon submitted his Emphasis Project, which involves assessing for immune recognition of mycobacterial antigens in systemic sarcoidosis. He and his mentor, Wonder Drake, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, are investigating whether mycobacteria have a role in sarcoidosis pathogenesis by performing molecular and immunologic analyses.

“I am thrilled that the IDSA has recognized Toyin's talents and awarded him the summer scholarship,” said VUSM Dean Steven Gabbe, M.D. “It is a testament not only to Toyin's abilities, but to the value of the Emphasis Program.”