|UND medical student receives research grant|
Miran Blanchard, a first-year medical student at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was one of only 20 medical students nationwide to receive a grant from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s seed grant research program.
Blanchard, son of Dr. Joel and Marie-Anne Blanchard of Dickinson, received the $2,500 grant for his project titled “Effect of Oligonucleotides with CpG motifs on Immunologic Responses of Dendritic Cell Vaccines for Colorectal Cancer.” He will conduct his research under the supervision of Robert Sticca, professor and chair of the Surgery Department at the UND medical school.
Sticca and Blanchard are investigating the use of vaccines for colorectal cancer in mice. They hope eventually to start human clinical trials using the protocol.
“It is a great honor for Miran to be recognized for his involvement in this critical area of research,” Sticca said. “The AMA Seed Grant Research Program is an excellent program that fosters the participation of medical students in basic research initiatives early in their career. Many of these students have gone on to successful careers in medical research, contributing to the advancement of medicine and developing new treatments and cures for common diseases.”
“If physicians are involved in research, they are helping to define the future potential of medicine,” said Blanchard when asked why, with the busy schedule of a medical student, he still finds time for lab research. “We have to continue pushing our boundaries.”
Established in 1999, the program provides these grants to medical students, physician-residents and fellows to conduct basic science, applied, or clinical research projects. This year 40 individuals were awarded grants to further their research in the areas of cardiovascular/pulmonary diseases, HIV/AIDS, leukemia, neoplastic diseases, and secondhand smoke.
In addition to UND, the 2007 Seed Grant Research Program medical student recipients were from New York University School of Medicine; Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine; Albany (N.Y.) Medical College; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Arizona College of Medicine; Medical College of Georgia; University of Alabama at Birmingham; Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Mayo Graduate School, Rochester, Minn.; Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine; University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
-- Amanda Scurry, public information specialist, UND SMHS, email@example.com, 701-777-0871