The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation recently awarded City of Hope’s Graduate School of Biological Sciences a generous donation to support five talented graduate students in their first year of study.
The grant, which establishes five H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Fellowships, covers each of the students’ stipends and benefits.
|Lauren Liddell (Photo by Darrin S. Joy)|
“The fellowships are welcome and greatly appreciated support for these students as well as for the school as a whole,” said John J. Rossi, Ph.D., Lidow Family Research Chair in the Department of Molecular Biology and graduate school dean.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) regulations prevent first-year students from receiving stipend support from their mentors’ NIH-awarded research grants, so fellowship funds can make a critical difference to budding scientists.
“The first year can be stressful as the students acclimate, and the awards let the students focus on their work as they come up to full speed in the program,” Rossi added.
The foundation has awarded four fellowship grants to the school each year since 2005. This is the first year it awarded five.
“We’re very grateful for our relationship with the Berger Foundation,” said Steven Novak, Ph.D., the school’s associate dean. “The foundation’s growing support has been a great contribution to the students’ success.”
Marisa Bowers, Supriya Deshpande, Ching-Ying Kuo, Lauren Liddell and Nicholas Snead comprise the five 2008-2009 H.N. and Frances C. Berger Fellows, who were selected based on their performance in fall classes, their first 10 weeks working in laboratories and their reports on rotation experiences.
Prior to enrolling at City of Hope, Bowers obtained a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles and studied for a year at the University of Iowa Graduate School of Biological Sciences. She also attended City of Hope’s Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy in 2006 and 2007.
Deshpande earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Pune, India, and worked in microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before joining City of Hope.
Liddell enrolled at City of Hope after receiving a Bachelor of Science in genetics and working as a teaching assistant at Michigan State University.
Kuo previously studied medical technology at National Taiwan University of Taipei, Taiwan, and Snead is pursuing his doctorate after obtaining a Master of Science in biomedical engineering from Purdue University.
The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation has contributed more than $800,000 to City of Hope since 1994. Established as a private family foundation in 1961 and headquartered in Palm Desert, Calif., the foundation supports educational and other charitable projects. Since 1993, the foundation has contributed more than $220 million to charities throughout Southern California and the U.S.