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Upstate medical students receive fellowship awards to support their research into tropical medicine

Paris Hantzidiamantis, Megan Harris and John Kahler, second-year medical students at Upstate Medical University, have received Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine awards from The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). They are among 21 Fellows from 14 medical schools in the country to be selected for the award through a highly competitive process.

The Fellowship is the only medical student award dedicated to nurturing a career path for physician-scientists in tropical medicine. It is awarded annually to full-time medical students at accredited medical schools in North America. Fellows receive airfare and up to $1,000 in living expenses for a clinical training or research project that takes place in an area where tropical diseases are endemic.

All three students participated in research over the summer in collaboration with the Center for Global Health & Translational Science.

Kahler traveled to Thailand to study the economic impact of dengue infection on families in Thailand.

Hantzidiamantis and Harris traveled to Ecuador to pursue their research project that involves defining the dengue virus toxicity scale in the prediction of disease severity.

“These Fellows will be part of the next generation working to alleviate the suffering and long-term disability caused by the types of diseases reported in the news and many more that don’t make the headlines,” said Kean Fellowship Committee Chair Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS, Stanford University. “This is a dynamic and committed class of Fellows, and we expect to see extraordinary things from them in the near future.”

ASTMH President Patricia F. Walker, MD, said, “The ASTMH Kean Travel Fellowship helps make overseas training possible and works to build the ranks of physician-scientists who are focused on diseases that particularly impact those living in low income countries.”

The Fellowship honors Benjamin H. Kean, MD, an internationally acclaimed tropical medicine expert and personal mentor to many of today’s world-renowned tropical medicine experts who were inspired by him as his students in medical school.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, founded in 1903, is the largest international scientific organization of experts dedicated to reducing the worldwide burden of tropical infectious diseases and improving global health.

Caption: Paris Hantzidiamantis, left, Megan Harris and John Kahler, second-year medical students at Upstate Medical University, have received Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine awards from The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

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