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Adit Singhal of Ashburn, a member of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s MD Class of 2020, received an Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Carolyn L. Kuckein Research Fellowship.

After a highly competitive application process, about 50 awards are made annually “to foster the development of the next generation of medical researchers.” AOA is the national medical honor society.

Singhal’s winning proposal is entitled, "Mapping Glucocorticoid Receptor Variants with Clinical Outcomes of Breast Cancer Patients in the Geisinger MyCode Electronic Health Record-linked Biobank."

“It’s a project looking at glucocorticoid receptor variants across breast-cancer subtypes to see if certain variants may correlate with earlier or worse prognosis,” Singhal said. “We hope the findings will ultimately guide personalized treatment plans – the essence of precision medicine.”

As part of the award, Singhal will present his research findings at AOA’s national conference in 2019. “Our school is still relatively young,” Singhal said. “But I believe awards like this and the many other thoughtful basic and clinical science research projects in which my peers are engaged is a testament to how strongly GCSOM encourages and nurtures students in the basic research process of asking and answering questions.”

According to AOA, the fellowships are extremely competitive and are meant to provide support for clinical investigation, basic laboratory research, epidemiology, social science/health services research, leadership or professionalism. Funds from the fellowship are expected to be the major source of support for the student. Only one candidate from each school may be nominated. A student may only receive one fellowship during medical school. The fellowship program honors Carolyn L. Kuckein, long-time administrator of AOA and an honorary member of the society, who died in 2004.

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Adit Singhal (right), MD Class of 2020, with his mentor Jun Ling, PhD (left), associate professor of molecular biology.
Adit Singhal (right), MD Class of 2020, with his mentor Jun Ling, PhD (left), associate professor of molecular biology

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