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May 31, 2013 - USA Medical Student Selected for NIH Research Program
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Austin Fox, a rising senior at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently selected as one of 45 students across the country to participate in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP).

According to the NIH Clinical Center, the comprehensive, year-long program is a research enrichment program designed to attract the most creative, research-oriented medical, dental, and veterinary students to the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md.

The 45 selected students will participate in a mentored research project on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, or close by NIH facilities, that match their professional interests and goals. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with NIH leaders and reputable investigators from the top national academic medical centers and universities.

"I’m excited about the opportunity to be involved in an intense, unique NIH program that will allow me to further develop an understanding of how research is conducted and incorporated into the practice of medicine," said Fox.

Fox, of Dothan, Ala., participated in USA’s Medical Student Summer Research Program in 2010 and worked with Dr. Robert Barrington, assistant professor in the department of microbiology and immunology. Dr. Barrington’s lab utilizes genetic mouse strains to explore more efficient vaccine design and to model human autoimmune disease.

"I enjoy research as it can be translated into improved patient care,” said Fox. “I enjoy the academic medicine environment and look forward to the opportunity to participate in the research-clinical care continuum.”

In summer 2011, Fox also participated in the Student Research Training Program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he researched pediatric obesity in a clinical setting.

The current 2012-2013 MRSP class consists of 45 students from 34 different accredited medical, dental and veterinary schools. The NIH’s goal is to eventually have a capacity of 70 students in the program.

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