Bringing women’s health to the forefront: meet the Howell-CSUPERB 2019 Scholars.

Bringing women’s health to the forefront: meet the Howell-CSUPERB 2019 Scholars.

Donors and Board Members are not only proud, but inspired by the research topics of all our CSUPERB 2019 scholars.  Dr. Howell’s reasoning behind setting up the Howell Undergraduate Scholarship Program was to get young scientists excited about a career in women’s health.  As a pediatric oncologist, she realized that women were taking care of everyone in their family but themselves.

As best stated by Susan Baxter, Executive Director, California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB): ​

CSUPERB 2019 Scholars - Susan Baxter Portrait“The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s health was one of the first nonprofits nationwide that supported undergraduate researchers. We’ve been very grateful for our partnership.  Together, the Howell Foundation and CSUPERB have given $855,000 in awards to 200 students since 2001; the great majority, 87% of them, graduate and go on to apply successfully for medical school, graduate school or work in the bio medical field.”

This month, we had the opportunity of meeting three of the 12 Howell-CSUPERB 2019 scholars; Danielle Reynolds, Jeniffer Sih and Ashley Schwartz.

Danny Reynolds, One of Howells CSUPERB 2019 Scholars“My name is Danny Reynolds and I’m a fourth year biology student at San Diego State University. I began volunteering at the Gelmbotski Cardiology Laboratory about two years ago.  He is ultimately the one who introduced me to this opportunity. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the Doris A. Howell Foundation as well as the Fleet Family for supporting undergraduate students like us in our academic pursuits. I know that every one of these projects will just buy it near and dear our hearts in regard to women’s health, and so I’m extremely thankful to have this opportunity to see what progress can be made in the field.

Her research project The Protective Role of ATF6 under Stress Conditions Caused by Pregnancy and Childbirth will focus on exploring potential avenues for therapies that would decrease mortality of expecting mothers.

Ashley Schwartz, one of Howell's CSUPERB 2019 ScholarsAshley Schwartz is an applied mathematics teacher.   “I do want to say thank you so much to the Howell Foundation and to Mrs. Judy White. This has an amazing opportunity for me. When I first started doing research, I never thought it would really impact my life as much as it has. Being given the opportunity has really changed the direction that I foresee my future career going.”

Her research project “Mathematical and computational models analyzing the effect of common toxins on embryonic development in the zebrafish model” will be focusing on creating computational models that will enable and automate the analysis of toxins responsible for over or under development deformities of the organs in our body.  “I’m really excited about the implications of my project and how these chemicals could negatively affect the health in embryonic development in humans.”

One in particular stuck our chord, especially during heart health month: Jennifer Sih.

Jennifer Sih,  one of Howell's CSUPERB 2019 Scholars“I’m a fourth year cell and molecular biology major at San Diego State and I’m currently working at the Bernstein Lab at SDSU. I did want to start by thanking everyone and the Foundation. I really appreciate the opportunity for this research and also to be here. This has been such an exciting opportunity to grow as a student, as a researcher and as a person. Her research project “Determining the Crystal Structure of two Human MYH7 Myosin Mutations causative of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy” will hopefully bring answers to treating this disease affecting roughy one in 500 individuals.  “I was actually born with a cardiomyopathy and received a heart transplant at the age of 16. So it’s very meaningful to me that you’re interested in doing this research. And I’m so excited to see how this project will unfold. Thank you so much for your support. This has truly been an experience I’ll cherish forever.”

“We hope that this discovery will inform the development of a new drug to treat the disease in the future. I’m deeply grateful to the health foundation for investing in my education and especially in this research, which is very meaningful to me. “

No doubt in our minds about the importance of taking care of our health.  It is a gift.  Don’t take it for granted.

Congratulations to all Howell-CSUPERB 2019 Scholars!

Rebeca Almeida (Public Health & Ethnic Studies, Cal Poly , San Luis Obispo)
“Mammographic Breast Density and Acculturation: Looking at Chinese Immigrants.”
Mentor: Marilyn Tseng, Kinesiology & Public Health
Autumn Barker (Biology, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo)
“Effect on Lactobacillus on Escherichia coli biofilm formation.”
Mentor: Alejandra Yep, Biological Sciences
Jan Cajulao (Microbiology, San Francisco State University)
“Friends or Foes – the Effect of Probiotic Microbiota on Group B Streptococcus.”
Mentor: Lily Chen, Biology
Samantha Crawford (Biochemistry, San Diego State University)
“Novel Detection of Biomarkers of Breast Cancer using Microfluidics and Nonlinear Multi-photon laser wave-mixing detection.”
Mentor: William Tong, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Martey Haw (Biology, San José State University)
“Molecular Analysis of Metastasis in Cancer Cells with Increased Intracellular pH.”
Mentor: Bree Grillo-Hill, Biological Sciences
Emmanuelle Issa (Mathematics, California State University, Fresno)
“MUC16 Specific Antibody Treatment of Ovarian Cancer.”
Mentor: Cory Brooks, Chemistry
Katia Niño (Biology, California State University, Fullerton)
“Quantification and Dynamic Mapping of the Aminoglycoside Resistance Protein AAC(6′)-Ib.”
Mentor: Marcelo Tolmasky, Biological Sciences
Danielle Reynolds (Biology, San Diego State University)
“The Protective Role of ATF6 Under Stress Conditions Caused by Pregnancy and Childbirth.”
Mentor: Chris Glembotski, Biology
Ashley Schwartz (Mathematics, San Diego State University)
“Mathematical and Computational Models Analyzing the Effect of Common Toxins on Embryonic Development in the Zebrafish Model.”
Mentor: Uduak George, Mathematics and Statistics
Khadija Shafiq (Biotechnology, Cal Poly, Pomona)
“Evaluating gD3pep Liposomal Vaccines Containing Different Adjuvants in an Intravaginal HSV-1 Mouse Model.”
Mentor: Jill Adler-Moore, Biology
Jennifer Sih (Biology, San Diego State University)
“Determining the Crystal Structure of two Human MYH7 Myosin Mutations causative of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.”
Mentor: Sanford Bernstein, Biology
Kara Zeman (Biochemistry, California State University, Sacramento)
“Optimization of the Synthesis of Octavalent Glycodendrimers as Anti-HIV Agents.”
Mentor: Katherine McReynolds, Chemistry
Congratulations to all the Howell-CSUPERB Scholars!  Keep in touch.

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The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research has been dedicated to keeping the women we love healthy by making a long-term, positive impact on women’s health. It is the premier organization advancing women’s health.

The organization does so by:

Awarding undergraduate research scholarships and graduate nursing research grants to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health;
Presenting the latest medical research findings at our events and t hrough our Speaker Service progam, where experts and researchers convey timely timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families,
Funding research initiatives geared towards improving the health of under-served women and increase awareness and advocacy in the community; bringing women’s health research to a full cycle.

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