The Importance of our Scholarships

                                         Your health starts with research

In addition to addressing women’s health at its basic level –research—Dr. Howell’s vision was to get students excited about pursuing a career in women’s health.

There are numerous studies that indicate that students who do research as undergrads gain both professional and personal skills such as problem solving, communication and teamwork. Research experience also helps students clarify their career goals and prepares them for success in their graduate school environments.  Many of our Scholars wouldn’t be able to participate in research unless we provide them with financial support, thus by offering scholarship grants to deserving students, we are helping to foster the interest of students in research careers and improve their ability to succeed in any career.

We know research requires a constant infusion of talent to serve the community and society at large. For this reason, the primary goal of the Howell Foundation is to influence students to pursue careers impacting women’s health and to develop financial support, through our scholarships and grants, that will accelerate solutions to women’s health issues.

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 by a mentor scientist, who specifically guides the student.  The objective is to propel the student’s knowledge and skills in ways that couldn’t be done in a classroom setting. It is the lifeline to the program’s success.

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.  It is inspirational to see their passion and their growth. After all, they are the embodiment of the promise of “Keeping the Women We Love Healthy.”

Meet our Academic Partners

The Howell Foundation- The California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) undergraduate application for California State Universities is managed by CSUPERB on their website.  Please visit CSUPERB’s website for the current RFA.

The Howell Foundation participates in UCSD’s undergraduate research scholarship (URS) program application. For more information on applying, please visit their website.

USD Hahn School of Nursing. For more information on Howell’s graduate nursing scholarships to USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, please see the current application.

San Diego State University Logo
Howell Foundation Scholarships - Cal State University Logo


(Scholarship awarded in January)
Howell Foundation CSUPERB Scholarships recipients

CSUPERB believes the best way to engage and help all students embark on life sciences careers is to invest in and provide access to experiential learning opportunities in biotechnology research and entrepreneurship.

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. 

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research and CSUPERB have partnered recognize that research experience is critical to engaging and graduating students interested in careers in women’s health. In fact, the great majority of Howell-CSUPERB scholars go on to apply successfully for graduate degree programs and industry jobs.

Meet our Scholars

Inspiring Careers: Howell Foundation Announces 2022 CSUPERB Awards

Inspiring Careers: Howell Foundation Announces 2022 CSUPERB Awards

Inspiring careers for the next scientific breakthrough as the cornerstone of women’s health. Topics of research include depression, monoclonal antibody…

2023 CSUPERB Scholars

(San Diego)
“Exploring the Impact of Oral Contraceptives on the Gut Microbiome”

Mentor: Christopher Harrison

(San Jose)

“Comparative transcriptomic analysis of Bisphenol A (BPA) variants exposure in estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer cells”

Mentor: Wendy Lee

(Long Beach)

“Structural and Functional Analysis of Guinea pig Apolipoprotein and Human Apolipoprotein /E4 to Understand Amyloidogenesis in Alzheimer’s Disease”

Mentor: Vasanthy Narayanaswami


“Synthesis of Ether Polymers for use in HIV Prophylactics “

Mentor: Katherine McReynolds


“Defining the microbiota’s response to and influence on immune defense in female and male Drosophilia populations”

Mentor: Parvin Shahrestani

(San Jose)
“Developing adenoviral-based tools to determine the role of Interferon regulatory factor 1 (lrf1) in mammalian heart muscle proliferation”

Mentor: Alexander Payumo

(San Diego)

“Structure of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) kinase domain in complex with a novel small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor”

Mentor: Tom Huxford


“Investigating metformin scavenging of reactive dicarbonyls”

Mentor: Daniel Tamae


“Synthesis and Antiproliferative Evaluation of Licochalcone A Analogs in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Models”

Mentor: Qiao-Hong Chen


“Using Trisomy 21 Down Syndrome cells to understand chromosome organization”

Mentor: Lisa Hua

(San Jose)

“Increased intracellular pH promotes cell death in the developing Drosophila eye”

Mentor: Bree Grillo-Hill

(San Diego)

“Comparative structural analysis of inducible transcription factor NF-κB for the study of cervical cancer”

Mentor: Tom Huxford


“Immune defense in Drosophila is affected by host evolutionary history and host-associated microbiota”

Mentor: Parvin Shahrestani

2022 CSUPERB Scholars

(Cal State University,  Los Angeles)
“Characterizing Spreading Depolarization for Electrophysiology-Based Stroke Therapy”

Mentor: Deborah Won

(Cal State University,  Fresno)

“Influence of a VHH Crystallization Chaperone on the Structure Determination of MUC1 and MUC16 Specific Antibodies by X-ray Crystallography”

Mentor: Cory Brooks

(Cal State University, Northridge)

“Role of LCN2 In Mediating Premetastatic Breast Cancer Progression”

Mentor: Jonathan Kelber

(Cal State University, Chico)

“Predicting Scoliosis based on Neurological Differences during Development “

Mentor: Kristen Gorman

(Cal State University,  Dominguez Hills)

“Identification of Novel Natural Products with Selective Cytotoxicity against a Breast Cancer Cell Line”

Mentor: Erin McCauley

(San Diego State University)
“Does non-nutritive sweetener consumption affect embryonic and pancreas development?”

Mentor: Kari Sant

(California State University, San Jose)

“Probing pH Sensitive Regulation of the Oncogene Myc”

Mentor: Bree Grillo-Hill

(Cal State University, Fresno)

“Binding Mechanism of Antibodies to Sea-Urchin-Argin (SEA) Domains in MUC16 for the Study of Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy”

Mentor: Cory Brooks

(Cal State University, Northridge)

“Determining the Role of RAI14 in Pancreatic Cancer Using Live-Cell Imaging”

Mentor: Jonathan Kelber

(Cal State University, Northridge)

“Differentiating CD98hc and LAT1/2 Functions in eIF5A1/2-Dependent Migration of Triple Negative Breast Cancer cells”

Mentor: Jonathan Kelber

Graphic of Book with icons of school topics and ideas

The results are in! How the Howell Foundation’s partnership with the California State University Program for Education and Research (CSUPERB) advances women’s health.

UCSD School of Medicine Logo


(Scholarship awarded in May)
Howell Foundation 2019 Scholarships Recipients promoting Women's Health Research

With the scholarships awarded in March of each year, 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.

Meet our Scholars

2021 Howell-UCSD Scholars: Reproductive Health as Main Area of Research

2021 Howell-UCSD Scholars: Reproductive Health as Main Area of Research

The 2021 Howell-UCSD Scholars will research reproductive health in women.  We know research requires a constant infusion of talent to…

2023 UCSD Scholars

“Development and usability testing of a health insurance literacy education intervention for adolescent and young adult cancer patients & respective families”

Mentor: Dr. Irene Su 

“Does Psychosocial Stress Disrupt Fertility in Females by a Norepinephrine Neuron Pathway?”

Mentor: Dr. Kellie Breen Church

“The Role of TYK2 in Breast Tumor Metastasis”

Mentor: Dr. Jing Yang

“Socioeconomic Disparities in Access to Fertility Preservation Benefits Among Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Patients”

Mentor: Dr. Irene Su

2022 UCSD Scholars

“Development of a Clinical Pelvic Model and Experimental Method to Measure Pressure Distribution of Expandable Dilators under Different Vaginal Stenosis Conditions”

Mentor: Frank Talke 

“How Stress Affects Blood Glucose Levels”

Mentor: Kellie Breen Church

“Investigation of the Necessity of AVPV Kiss1 Neurons during the preovulatory for GnRH/LH Surge in Female Mice”

Mentor: Dr. Alexander Kauffman

“Analyzing clinical and genomic data from smoking-related HNSCC patients to examine smoking-influenced changes in tRNA expression”

Mentor: Dr. Weg Ongkeko
Howell Foundation Scholarships - University of San Diego Logo

Hahn School of Nursing

(Scholarship awarded in August)
Ph.D. Candidates presenting substance abuse in women during pregnancy
Substance abuse at the center of the 2019 Cheryl A. WIlson Graduate Research Awardees in Nursing

In 2010, the Howell Foundation established the Cheryl A. Wilson Graduate Research Award in Nursing, 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.

Read about our scholars in our blog

Howell Foundation Announces the 2021 USD-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing

Howell Foundation Announces the 2021 USD-Cheryl Wilson Awards in Nursing

Partner Violence in the Latino Community and Meditation for Post-Partum Depression as the 2021 fields of research. Howell Foundation’s Research…

2023 USD Scholars

“Reducing Maternal Mortality from Peripartum Hemorrhage in Cesarean Deliveries.” 
Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Connelly
“An Arab American Woman’s Lived Experience of a Loved One’s Hospitalization.” 
Mentor: Dr. Caroline Etland

2022 USD Scholars

“A Day in the Life of a Woman with Clostridioides Difficile” 
Mentor: Caroline Etland, Ph.D., MSN
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