"We are pleased to support the University of Washington School of Medicine in exploring new healthcare frontiers. We anticipate a fruitful relationship that will benefit the entire Pacific Northwest region," said Jody Patton, executive director of the foundation. The MST program, established in 1970, was designed to produce talented, creative and dedicated physician scientists capable of translating new advances in biotechnology, informatics and genetics into patient-care enhancements. The program is fulfilling its mission with many graduates involved in dynamic research projects. These projects are leading to the development of new medications and new strategies for immunotherapy, as well as the identification of hereditary factors related to leukemia.
"This grant opens further opportunities for doctors to enhance their skills as scientists," said Dr. Lawrence Loeb, the director of the MST program. "It enhances our mission of training these exceptional students so they emerge with the knowledge, experience, and self-confidence to create breakthroughs in medical research."
Loeb added his thanks to Dr. Mary-Claire King, a professor at University of Washington School of Medicine, who first approached the foundation with the suggestion it support the MST program. Students in the MST program complete an 8-year combined M.D./Ph.D. degree program. MST scholars are selected for their history of academic excellence and their potential as future physician scientists. Admission is highly competitive.
Seven Allen Scholars have been named as the first beneficiaries of the grant that will pay the program $250,000 a year over 4 years. Four fellows began their tenure Dec. 1, 2000. The other three start July 1, 2001. The 7 will work on research projects reflecting a variety of interests, including genetics, disease pathogenesis, cellular and molecular biology and rehabilitation medicine.