Two second-year medical students, Harriet Kiwanuka and Shamik Mascharak, have been awarded 2019 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.
Paul Soros, who died in 2013, and his wife, Daisy Soros, established the fellowship program in 1997 support graduate study for immigrants to the United States and their children.
Each fellow receives as much as $90,000 for tuition and living expenses over two academic years. Recipients are selected for fellowships based on merit, with an emphasis on creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishments. They can study in any degree-granting graduate program in any field at any university in the United States.
Kiwanukawill use the award to support work toward her medical degree. Her parents emigrated from Uganda, and she was born in Norwood, Massachusetts. She traces her passion to pursue medicine to the time her parents were severely injured in a house fire.
Kiwanuka is a member of the Gurtner laboratory, which is interested in the mechanism of blood vessel growth following injury, and how pathways of tissue regeneration and fibrosis interact in wound healing. Her research is focused on CRISPR-cas9 engineered stem cell burn therapy. She hopes to become a plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in burn management.