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June 19, 2006


NEW YORK, June 19, 2006 -- Galina Borodulina is headed for London, England, to participate in an immunological research project. Jessica Braswell will be in the Czech Republic to study microbiology and food science, while Fahmida Keya plans to research depression in female sex-workers in Bangladesh.

The three are among eight top students from The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York awarded fellowships by the Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship Program for Medical Studies. All but one of them are rising fifth-year students, the equivalent of second-year medical students. Other CCNY students going abroad for research are Chaitanya Challa, Barry Ladizinski, Akeem Marsh, Isaac Tong, and Jing Wang.

The Lipkin Fellowships were established in honor of Mack Lipkin, M.D., CCNY ’26, with the support of the Sergei S. Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Research and Education, the Ruth W. Dolen Foundation, and Friends and Family of Dr. Mack Lipkin. They provide outstanding students from Sophie Davis opportunities to conduct research for up to eight weeks during summers anywhere in the world.

The program pays for the whole experience including airfare, lodging, food, project-related costs and incidentals. Since its inception in 1989, more than 100 students have benefited from the opportunity to “broaden their horizons.” Students have traveled to every continent of the world apart from Antarctica. 

Brief profiles of the students and their research projects follow:

Galina Borodulina: Ms. Borodulina’s immunological research project in London will be entitled “Development of a method to measure T cell activation in vivo.” Her mentor for this project is Dr. Khosrow Kashfi of the Sophie Davis School’s Department of Physiology & Pharmacology. Ms. Borodulina lives in Brooklyn.

Jessica Braswell: The South Ozone Park, Queens, resident is traveling to the Czech capital Prague to study microbiology and food science in a project entitled “Optimizing conditions for the development of a standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to detect and quantify Listeria monocytogenes in food products.” Dr. Dani McBeth of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology is her mentor.

Chaitanya Challa: will study health policy related to smoking in London, England. The project is aimed at “analyzing the efforts by the tobacco industry to influence tobacco control policies in selected countries, regions and worldwide.” Mr. Pyser Edelsack of the Department of Community Health & Social Medicine mentors her. She lives in Hollis, Queens.

Fahmida Keya: Ms. Keya plans to travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she will carry out a project entitled “Prevalence of Symptoms of Depression among Female Sex-Workers in Bangladesh.” Her mentor at Sophie Davis is Dr. Jackson Sekhobo of the Department of Community Health & Social Medicine. Ms. Keya lives in Manhattan.

Barry Ladizinski: A member of the Sophie Davis team that recently volunteered in Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Mr. Ladizinski will be in London to engage in a project entitled “Measuring modified nucleosides in urine to monitor various aspects of metabolism.” A resident of Brooklyn, he is mentored by Dr. Kashfi.

Akeem Marsh: Also in New Orleans with the Sophie Davis volunteers during spring break, Mr. Marsh’s next stop is Pretoria, South Africa, to participate in a Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA) public health research project entitled “Assessment of the provision of HIV/AIDS care among diverse populations in primary care settings.” His mentor is Dr. Sekhobo of the Department of Community Health & Social Medicine. Mr. Marsh is from the Bronx.

Isaac Tong: Mr. Tong, who enters his fourth year in the fall, is bound for Osaka, Japan, where he’ll conduct cell biology research on “Regulation of Organogenesis by Growth Factors: The ErbB System in Fetal Development.” His mentor is Dr. Edward Gresik of the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences. Mr. Tong lives in Rego Park, Queens.

Jing Wang:  Mentored by Dr. Anne Dembitzer of the Department of Community Health & Social Medicine, Ms. Wang will travel to Yin Chuan City, China to complete a study entitled “Comparing Factors Governing Patients’ Decision to Use Traditional or Western Medicine in China.” The Manhattan resident also volunteered in New Orleans.

About CCNY’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

Now in its 33rd year, the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education offers a unique seven-year BS/MD program that integrates an undergraduate education with the first two years of medical school. After five years at Sophie Davis, students transfer seamlessly to one of six medical schools: Albany Medical College, Dartmouth Medical School, New York Medical College, New York University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center or Stony Brook University for the final two years of medical education and their MD degree.

The Sophie Davis School’s mission is to increase the accessibility to careers in medicine for inner-city youths of New York City, especially minorities under-represented in medicine, and to train primary care physicians to serve in medically under-served communities. 

Approximately 43 percent of Sophie Davis students are African-American or Hispanic, a level unequalled at other medical schools in New York State or nationally.