Our Scholars

Our #1 Goal: Funding Undergraduate Scientists in Women's Health Research

The Howell Foundation's most important goal is to fund undergraduate women's health research scholarships. The Howell Foundation has provided 229 scholarships and contributed over $615,000 towards boosting undergraduate student research efforts.

A strict protocol is followed in the choice of the students, including review of the students' scholarship applications, and quality of supervision during their research work. This supervision has become known as the "Mentor Program." It is the lifeline to the program's success. Each student must have a qualified mentor to direct and guide them.

The research subjects range from the most basic of life sciences such as cell biology to creating vaccines and testing altered immune reactions. Often the results of the student's research are presented at professional conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals. Thus, in addition to financial support, the student's education and career goals are enhanced, the cutting edge of scientific knowledge is advanced, and a positive contribution is made to the community and the future of the nation.

2017 Howell-CSUPERB Scholars

Double the Impact! CSUPERB (California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) awards a new research grant for each full scholarship the Howell Foundation awards to a CSU undergraduate. Together the Howell Foundation and CSUPERB recognize that research experience is critical to recruiting, training and retaining students interested in careers in women's health. For more information on the Howell Foundation's partnership with CSUPERB CLICK HERE.  Awarded in January.

Norhan Alhajjar (SDSU)
Project: “Characterization of Vaginal Colonization by Staphylococcusaureus”
Mentor: Kelly Doran, Biology

Kim Anh Hoang (CSU, Sacramento)
Project: “Steric Effects in the Computational Modeling of Cyclization Reactions of Enediynones.”
Mentor: Benjamin Gherman, Chemistry

Jennifer Luu (SDSU)
Project: “Genetic Analyses of Mouse Repeats Important in Aggressive Colorectal Cancer”
Mentor: Kathleen McGuire, Biology

Elizabeth Marquez (CPSU, Pomona)
Project: “Effects of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the Severity of Candida albicans Vulvovaginal Candidiasis in Immunosuppressed Mice”
Mentor: Nancy Buckley, Biology

Susana Najera (SDSU)
Project: “Characterization of a Bacterial Two-Component Sensor Kinase”
Mentor: Kelly Doran, Biology

Grace Prator (CSU, Chico)
Project: “miR-375 has opposing roles in hormone secretion with a-cell and ß-cell”
Mentor: David Keller, Biological Sciences

Layla Ramos (CSU, Long Beach)
Project: “Androgen regulation of calbindin expression in the developing mouse cerebral cortex and hippocampus”
Mentor: Houng-Wei Tsai, Biological Sciences

Puneet Sanghera (San José State University)
Project: “The effects of lipopolysaccharide induced inflammation on spinal cord excitability”
Mentor: Katie Wilkinson, Biological Sciences

Matthew Slarve (CPSU, Pomona)
Project: “In Vitro Modeling of Bacterial and Fungal Lung Infections in Cystic Fibrosis Patients”
Mentor: Jill Adler-Moore, Biological Sciences

Rajan Suasin (CSU, Sacramento)
Project: “The Synthesis and Design of Sulfated Glycodendrimers Against Biofilm Formation”
Mentor: Katherine McReynolds, Chemistry

Miguel Tellez (CSU, Fullerton)
Project: “Purification and characterization of a small copper carrier (SCC) from blood plasma - a structural and physiological study”
Mentor: Maria C Linder, Chemistry & Biochemistry

2017 Howell-UCSD Scholars

The Howell Foundation's mission and vision are firmly rooted in our affiliation with UCSD's School of Medicine through the renowned pediatric hematologist/oncologist Doris A. Howell, M.D., in whose honor the organization was founded. Awarded in March. For more info CLICK HERE.

Amanda Cheng (UCSD)
Project: “Early Detection of ASD in Female Infants”
Mentor: Karen Pierce, Neurosciences

Farhan Hussain (UCSD)
Project: “Does Heparan Sulfate Modulate Rett Syndrome Severity in Female Mice?”
Mentor: Jeffrey Esko, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Susan La (UCSD)
Project: “EmPower Women: A Gender-Responsive Intervention for Women Living with HIV/AIDS”
Mentor: Jamila Stockman, Global Public Health

Lillian Sau (UCSD)
Project: “Investigating Role of Gut Microbiome in PCOS Metabolic Dsyfunction”
Mentor: Varykina Thackray, Reproductive Medicine

2017 Howell-USD Nursing Scholars

In 2010, the Howell Foundation established the Cheryl A. Wilson Nursing Scholarship, in honor of long-time Howell Board member Cheryl A. Wilson, R.N., M.A. to fund USD's Hahn School of Nursing & Health Science Ph.D. candidate nursing students whose research emphasis is on women’s health. Awarded in August. 

Cheryl Boyd, APRN, PhD(c) 
Project: “Determinates of Survivalism in Female Victims of Sex Trafficking”
Mentor: Cynthia Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN

Raelene Brooks, PhD(c)
Project: “Bariatric Surgery Regain and Long Term Outcomes among Women: Self-Efficacy, Social Support, and Health Promotion Lifestyle Behaviors”
Mentor: Kathy James, DNSc, APRN


  1. Providing grants for women's health research to promising undergraduates
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  2. Sponsoring symposia, learning luncheons and other educational outreach mechanisms concerning women's health and related issues.
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