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HIVMA Medical Students Program

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The HIV Medical Students Program awards grants for up to three years to medical student and mentor pairs to support a longitudinal HIV-related clinical learning and/or research project and mentor relationship during medical school.  First, second or third year medical students are eligible to apply.

Students and mentors have the flexibility in designing their curriculum to complement the school’s curriculum and training requirements. Mentors must be HIVMA/IDSA members and are required to demonstrate a commitment to student mentorship through the duration of the grant.

Medical students receive a $3,500 stipend per year with an additional $1,000 for the mentor/institution for incidental expenses, such as supplies, conference registration, etc. Students will submit a brief report at the end of each year. Students also will receive a free HIVMA/IDSA membership.

A brief evaluation will be conducted annually to assess the program and ongoing student interest and level of commitment. Funding for years two and three will be dependent on successfully meeting annual milestones set by the student and mentor. 

The IDSA Foundation Medical Scholars Program provides a limited number of scholarships to medical students interested in ID to complete a summer research project. Information on that program can be found here.  

This program is supported by independent grants from ViiV Healthcare and the Gilead Foundation.

How to Apply

Please ensure the following items are submitted by February 15, 2018:

    1) The online application

    2) An updated CV (email to

    3) A letter of support from your HIVMA/IDSA mentor (email to  

A limited number of medical student awards will be granted.  Applications will be reviewed and scored by members of the HIVMA Medical Students Program Committee. Notifications will be made in May 2018. 

Questions and Answers

Who can apply?
Applicants must be medical students (first, second or third year) from an accredited medical school in the US. Students pursuing an MD/PhD are eligible to apply.

I would like to do a joint research project, is that possible?
Yes, but each participant must apply separately.

How long does my personal statement need to be?
The personal statement on the online application should not exceed 500 words. There is no minimum.

How long does the letter of support need to be?
The letter of support should not exceed two pages. There is no minimum.

When will recipients be notified?
Recipients of the Medical Students Program will be notified in April.

Can my research have an international focus?
Yes, as long as it has an HIV focus.

Can award funding be applied to tuition expenses?
No, award funding may not be applied to tuition expenses.

Am I eligible to apply if I have already received (or expect to receive) other sources of funding for my research project?
Unfortunately, you would not be eligible to apply. We aim to support high quality research projects that do not have other sources of funding.

HIV Training Opportunities for Medical Students

HIVMA has compiled opportunities for medical students. Some may require fees, including registration, travel and/or housing costs

2018 Medical Student Award Winners

The selected students, their mentors, institutions, and project titles are: 

Doris Berman, Wake Forest School of Medicine "Gathering Trauma Narratives: The Effects of Trauma on Reproductive Behaviors in HIV Populations"  MENTOR:  Katherine Schafer, MD        

Sushma Boppana, University of Alabama at Birmingham "Impact of Cross-reactive TCR Clonotypes on HIV Viral Evolution"  MENTOR:  Paul Goepfert, MD  

Catherine Dodson, University of Alabama School of Medicine "Quantifying Sexually Transmitted Infection & HIV Testing Preferences in Men who have Sex with Men to Provide Patient-Centered Care"  MENTOR:  Ellen Eaton, MD  

Shruti Gujaran, University of Maryland School of Medicine "The Role of Aging in HIV-Related Hospitalizations and Complications"  MENTOR:  David Riedel, MD  

Kristin Harrington, Emory University "Cryptococcal Screening in Patients with HIV"  MENTOR: Russell Kempker, MD, MSc    

Charles Kopp, University of Washington School of Medicine "Maternal and Fetal Outcomes after Integrase Inhibitor-containing Antiretroviral Regimens during pregnancy: a retrospective cohort study in Seattle, Washington"  MENTOR:  Alison Roxby, MD, MSc  

Sugi Min, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University "Optimizing HIV and HCV Continuum of Care Outcomes for Criminal Justice-involved Populations"  MENTOR:  Curt G. Beckwith, MD  

Joshua Niforatos, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University "Root Cause Analysis of Missed Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in the Emergency Department at a Level 1 Trauma Center" MENTOR: Justin Yax, DO, DTMH  

Jackée Okoli, Duke University School of Medicine " Fine Specificity and Fc Effector Function of Antibodies Generated by adjuvanted HIV Envelope Vaccines in Adults and Infants"  MENTOR:  Genevieve Giny Fouda, MD, PhD      

Katelyn Pastick, University of Minnesota "Predictors and Outcomes of Seizures in HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Meningitis Patients"  MENTOR:  David Boulware, MD, MPH  

Alex Rosenthal, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University "Acceptability of HIV Prevention and Screening Among Church Leaders in At-Risk Communities" MENTOR: Philip Chan, MD, MS

Garshasb Soroosh,  Johns Hopkins School of Medicine  
"Latent Reservoir Size as Predictor of Immunologic, Clinical, or Inflammatory Outcomes in Treated HIV"   MENTOR: Robert Siliciano, MD, PhD

William Trebelcock, University of Washington School of Medicine "HIV Transmitted Drug Resistance:  Prevalence, Clinical Characteristics, and Geospatial Mapping in Newly Diagnosed MSM and Transgender Women in Lima, Peru"   MENTOR:  Rachel Bender Ignacio, MD, MPH  

Jennie Xu,  UC San Diego School of Medicine " Exploring the Relationship Between Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density and HIV-Associated Neuropathic Pain"  MENTOR:  Scott Letendre, MD

Thomas Zaikos, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences "Investigating the Immunological Effects of the novel HIV Latency-reversing agent 3-Hydroxy-1,2,3-enzotriazin-4(3H)-one (HODHBt)"    MENTOR:  Alberto Bosque-Pardos, PhD, MBA  

2017 Medical Student Award Winners

The selected students, their mentors, institutions, and project titles are:

Afkera Daniel, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine “Understanding Unprotected Sex Among Adolescent Girls in Kenya: Epidemiologic and Qualitative Research to Plan PreP Services.” MENTOR: Alison C. Roxby MD, M.Sc.

Shane Falcinelli, University of North Carolina School of Medicine “Clinical Trials for an HIV Cure: Accurately Monitoring the Status of the Latent Reservoir in Antiretroviral Suppressed Patients.” MENTOR: David Margolis, MD 

Olivia Fankuchen, Tulane University School of Medicine “Building a protocol for street-based HIV screening, treatment, and follow-up for long-term homeless populations in New Orleans.” MENTOR: Jeffrey M. Percak, MD

Celia Fung, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry “HIV Vaccine Development: A Look at Molecular and Social Challenges.” MENTOR: Michael C. Keefer, MD

David Gootenberg, Harvard Medical School “The role of the enteric microbiome in chronic HIV pathogenesis and cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa.” MENTOR: Douglas S. Kwon, MD, PhD

Ryan Handoko, Yale School of Medicine “Genetic signatures and pathogenesis of CNS-reservoir HIV.” MENTOR: Serena Spudich, MD, MA

Lee Hufstedler, University of California Berkeley-University of California, San Francisco Joint Medical Program “Transgender youth homelessness and HIV: An exploration of structural determinants of health in a vulnerable urban population.” MENTOR: Sheri Weiser, MD

Gregory Karelas, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
“AIDS Mortality as a Sentinel Event.” MENTOR: Bruce Agins, MD, MPH 

Joshua Niforatos, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University “The Relationship of Clinical Knowledge of HIV/STIs and Sexual History Documentation with HIV Screening Patterns Among Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care Providers.” MENTOR: Justin Yax, DO, DTMH 

Sean O'Keefe, Albert Einstein College of Medicine “Recombinant HSV-2 ?gD constructs expressing HIV-1 gp140 as a novel HIV vaccine strategy.” William R. Jacobs, Jr., Ph.D. 

Justin Rice, Harvard Medical School “The Cervicovaginal Microbiome's Influence on HIV Susceptibility: An Investigation of Mechanisms and Potential Interventions.” MENTOR: Douglas S. Kwon, MD, PhD 

David Roberts, University of Washington School of Medicine “Modeling the Cost-Effectiveness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Delivery through Maternal and Child Health Clinics in Western Kenya.” MENTOR: Ruanne V Barnabas, MD, DPhil 

Tim Walsh, Florida State University College of Medicine “Goal-Setting in a Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) intervention among young Black men who have sex with men.” MENTOR: Moira McNulty, MD 

Alex Warr, University of Washington School of Medicine “Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific T-cell Responses in Breast Milk and Peripheral Blood of HIV Positive Mothers.” MENTOR: Thomas Hawn, MD, PhD 

Program Evaluation Results from Year One

2017 Evaluation Results

2016 Medical Student Award Winners

The selected students, their mentors, institutions, and project titles are:

Colleen Walsh Lang, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. "Children Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda: Managing Biomedical and Social Consequences." MENTOR: Bradley Stoner, MD, PhD, FIDSA

Jesús Luévano, Harvard Medical School. "Impact of HIV-Associated Changes in the Gut Microbiome on Disease Progression."MENTOR: Douglas S. Kwon, MD, PhD

Sarah Rutstein, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Cost-effectiveness of Treating Depression to Improve HIV Care Outcomes in Malawi."MENTOR: Mina C. Hosseinipour, MD, MPH

Sunaina Kapoor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Development and Implementation of an Interactive Decision Support Tool for Anti-retroviral Therapy Selection (ART) in HIV Patients." MENTOR: Maunank Shah, MD, PhD

Andrew Flynn, University of Minnesota. "Determinants of HIV Prevalence Changes in Uganda 2004-2011." MENTOR: David Boulware, MD, MPH, CTropMed

Carlos Rodriguez-Russo, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "The Impact of Enrollment in Targeted Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services on Hospitalization and Institutional Care Use among Aging HIV+ Patients." MENTOR: Ira Wilson, MD, MSc

Clara Van Ommen, University of British Columbia. "Exploring the Triad of Telomeres, HIV and Ovarian Aging." MENTOR: Melanie Murray, MD, PhD

Nishant Munugala, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine."The Impact of Health Numeracy on Attitudes toward PrEP for HIV Prevention." MENTOR: Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, MD

Rustin Zomorodi, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Increasing PrEP Uptake in High-Risk MSM through Community- and Provider-Focused Interventions." MENTOR: Ann Avery, MD

Vanessa Kung, University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Leveraging HIV Surveillance Data to Inform PrEP Implementation among Young, Black Men who Have Sex with Men." MENTOR: Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH

Bryna Harrington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Perinatal Depression, Retention in HIV Care, and Viral Load Suppression among Malawian Women Enrolled in Option B+." MENTOR: Mina C. Hosseinipour, MD, MPH

Gregory Damhorst, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana. "Calculation of Community Viral Load as an Indicator for HIV Programs in Champaign County Illinois." MENTOR: Janet A. Jokela, MD, MPH

Hazar Khidir, Harvard Medical School. "HIV Risk and Harm Reduction in the Periconception Period for Serodiscordant Couples in Durban, South Africa." MENTOR: Lynn Matthews, MD, MPH

Maya Koretzky, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Bedside Ethics, Provider Burnout, and Subsequent Career Trajectories: An Oral History of Interns and Residents at HIV Centers at the Height of the American Epidemic (1982-1986)." MENTOR: Robert Siliciano, MD, PhD

Michael Scolarici, Saint Louis University School of Medicine. "Use of a Validated Risk Assessment Tool to Assess Additional Variables in the Risk of Progression to Active TB in Patients with HIV and Latent TB Infection." MENTOR: Soumya Chatterjee, MD

Yanni Chang, University of Washington. "Focus Groups to Analyze Acceptability of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Self-Testing among Female Sex Workers in Pune, India." MENTOR: Ann Duerr, MD, PhD, MPH


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