Medical Student News

UCSF School of Medicine congratulates Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellows

 |  By Karin Fleming
UCSF medical student Eva Gillis-Buck

UCSF medical student Eva Gillis-Buck

Starting this summer, two UCSF medical students will begin year-long research fellowships as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)’s renowned program that helps launch careers in basic, translational, or applied biomedical research at leading institutions nationwide.

Third-year students Eva Gillis-Buck and Patrick Halliday are this year’s recipients in the School of Medicine.

“We are so proud of our talented medical students and encourage their aspirations to conduct leading-edge research at UCSF. Their work will help advance the potential of medicine and scientific discovery to improve patient care,” said Lee Jones, MD, Associate Dean for Students at UCSF’s Medical School.

For Gillis-Buck and Halliday who are set to begin medical research fellowships this summer, the program is a catalyst toward game-changing discoveries to come.

Spotlight on UCFS’s rising medical research stars:

Gillis-Buck will spend her research year mentored by Tippi MacKenzie, MD and Mark Anderson, MD, studying the immunology of pregnancy and how this process may be disrupted in recurrent pregnancy loss and preterm birth. Specifically, she will investigate whether autoimmune regulator protein (AIRE), a critical mechanism of self-tolerance, plays a role in maternal-fetal tolerance during pregnancy.

“I am honored to receive funding for continued work with Dr. MacKenzie and Dr. Anderson,” says Gillis-Buck, who also received a fellowship last year. “This foundational training in experimental immunology will help prepare me for a career as a physician-scientist and allow me to contribute to an area of science that fascinates me.”

Halliday will be mentored by Trever Bivona, MD, PhD, and Collin Blakely, MD, PhD, on a project defining the role of cell cycle gene amplification in resistance to targeted therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. His research will complement the Bivona lab’s basic and translational research investigations of cancer genetics, precision medicine, and the molecular basis of targeted therapy response and resistance.

"It’s a great honor to have been selected for this incredible fellowship opportunity,” says Halliday. “I look forward to the challenge and growth that will come with my work, as well as to the personal and professional fulfillment of doing something that I genuinely enjoy and find so much purpose in. The research and clinical experiences supported by a year-long fellowship will grant me an invaluable glimpse into a career in academic medicine."

The HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program
Since its launch in 1989, the HHMI’s Medical Research Fellows Program has helped more than 1,700 medical, veterinary, and dental students establish careers in research. This year, 79 medical and veterinary students were selected nationwide.

The program pairs incoming fellows with mentors, and provides them access to career support and networking opportunities with peer HHMI fellows, alumni, early-career faculty, and senior investigators.

HHMI scientists, collaborating creatively across the U.S. and worldwide, have made pivotal discoveries that advance both human health and the fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor reflecting the excitement of medical research.