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May 15, 2008

TWO STUDENTS FROM CCNY TO RECEIVE SALK SCHOLARSHIPS

NEW YORK, May 15, 2008 – Oluwaseun “Stephanie” Adeosun, a graduating senior at The City College of New York (CCNY), and William Mak, a member of the Class of 2007 of the Macaulay Honors College at CCNY, were among eight outstanding CUNY pre-medical students chosen to receive Jonas E. Salk Scholarships to study medicine.  The Salk Scholarships are being awarded this morning at Baruch College’s William and Anita Newman Conference Center.

The Salk Scholarships are the legacy of Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 1934 CCNY graduate, who developed the polio vaccine in 1955.  Dr. Salk turned down a ticker tape parade in honor of his discovery and asked instead that the money be used for scholarships.  New York City provided initial funding for the Salk Scholarships in 1955.  The endowment provides a stipend of $8,000 per scholar to be appropriated over three or four years of medical studies, to help defray the cost of medical school.

Ms. Adeosun, a biology major who will attend SUNY Downstate Medical Center, became interested in medicine when at 14, she volunteered in a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria.  She was fascinated by how well doctors cared for patients despite limited resources and no medical infrastructure.

When she arrived in New York during her high school years, she met Prof. Jerry Guyden, now director of the Research Centers in Minority Institutions at City College. He became her mentor and arranged for her to work in his lab at City College’s biology department while she was still in high school.

“Dr. Guyden has been very supportive both in terms of my education and personal life,” said Ms. Adeosun, who looks forward to practicing medicine and conducting medical research after completing medical school.  “He is the catalyst who kept me going when things got tough.”

Ms. Adeosun continued to work in Professor Guyden’s lab throughout her studies at City College.  In her sophomore and junior years, her research garnered awards in the cell biology category at the national Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. She is a co-author of a recently published paper describing the role of thymic nurse cells in thymocyte development in transgenic mice.

Mr. Mak was one of two Salk Scholars invited to intern this summer at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.  In the fall, he will attend the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

As a young patient with congenital scoliosis, Mr. Mak viewed the physicians who treated him as superheroes.  Later, his father’s struggle with, and death from, cancer made him more determined to pursue a medical career.

He began college as a biomedical engineering student, then switched to biochemistry.  His research has been in biology and has focused on visual cognition, with Professor Jay Edelman.  William also has been part of City College’s student volunteer emergency squad and is certified in first aid and CPR.

“It is an honor to be a Salk Scholar, and it represents a commitment toward continuing to do medical research, something I look forward to,” said Mr. Mak, a Brooklyn resident.  He praised his mentor, Professor Edelman, for “allowing me a great deal of freedom and the ability to find my own path.”

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); 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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