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May 7, 2009

CCNY Seniors Martin Detchkov, Mario A. Pinto Named 2009 Salk Scholars

Award Provides $8,000 Stipend for Medical School

NEW YORK, May 7, 2009--- Martin Detchkov and Mario A. Pinto, seniors at The City College of New York (CCNY) were awarded the 2009 Jonas E. Salk Award, which supports study at medical school.  They were among eight CUNY students to receive the prestigious scholarships, which will be presented in a ceremony May 13 at Baruch College.

Mr. Detchkov, a Bronx resident, and Mr. Pinto, who lives in Harlem, will both receive $8,000 stipends to assist with medical school studies.  The scholarship is named for Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 1934 graduate of CCNY, who developed the first polio vaccine.  When Dr. Salk was offered a ticker tape parade by New York City in 1955 in honor of his discovery, he asked that the money be used for the scholarships instead.

CCNY last had multiple winners in 2006, when three students from the College were named Salk Scholars.

Mario A. Pinto
Mr. Pinto, a native of Colombia, is a biology major with a 3.69 GPA.  He will attend the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona this fall.  He decided to pursue medicine as a career because he has a passion for developing treatments for patients. 

The importance of treatment became evident to him while working in orthopedics research under Drs. Mitchell Schaffler and Karl J Jepsen, he recalls.  In their labs he learned how important research is to understanding conditions that affect health, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and how physicians and scientists help understand the conditions in order to provide the best care possible for patients.

“City College presented me with the opportunity to meet passionate scientists with broad interests that are committed to the scientific field and their students,” he said.

Mr. Pinto’s other academic honors at CCNY include the August Anthony Gravasi Award and the Professor Paul L. Krupta Award, as well as recognition for Outstanding Achievements in Honors Research.  In addition, he has been featured in a student profile on the Biology Department web page.

Martin Detchkov
Mr. Detchkov, a native of Bulgaria, is a biochemistry major with a 3.84 GPA.  He will attend SUNY Downstate Medical Center in the fall. 

"The greatest support I have received has been from the members of the laboratory I work in,” he said.  “Dr. (Jerry) Guyden took me into his immunology laboratory and, along with Dr. (Michael) Samms, mentored me on the value of science and research.”

A recipient of the Peter Vallone Scholarship and Stuyvesant-CCNY Scholarship, Mr. Detchkov is also active on campus.  He participates in HSAC – Honors Students Activities Council, a club that organizes activities such as Relay for Life.  In addition, he is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a national premedical honor society, and the Caduceus Society, a premedical club at CCNY.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847 The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

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