Howell Foundation Awards Three New Scholarships to Young Promising San Diegans

  • Scholarships focused on ensuring women's health in current medical research
  • Calcium imbalance and its effect on arrhythmia, papillary thyroid cancer and HPV awareness in the military among the fields of study
  • Over half a million dollars awarded to 194 students to promote women's health through education.  


Picture by Carolyn Northrup
Dr. Doris Howell with Scholars (Left to right) Angela Zuo,
Jennifer Beuchel and Stephanie Myers

San Diego, CA. - August 2014. The Doris A. Howell Foundation presented its fall 2014 scholarship awards. Candidates from UCSD and USD Hahn School of Nursing will be researching new fields of study as well as new means to create awareness on women's health.  

A strict protocol is followed in the choice of the students, including review of the students' scholarship applications, and quality of supervision during their research work. This supervision has become known as the "Mentor Program." It is the lifeline to the program's success. Each student must have a qualified mentor to direct and guide them.

The research subjects range from the most basic of life sciences such as cell biology to creating vaccines and testing altered immune reactions. Often the results of the student's research are presented at professional conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals. Thus, in addition to financial support, the student's education and career goals are enhanced, the cutting edge of scientific knowledge is advanced, and a positive contribution is made to the community and the future of the nation.

Stephanie Myers
Role of Obscurin Proteins for Cardiac Calcium Handling

Although mainly thought of as a “man’s disease”, cardiomyopathies are the leading cause of death for women. Among the different cardiomyopathy types, arrhythmias caused by problems in calcium imbalances can be particularly devastating, as these types of cardiomyopathies are often undiagnosed and have a high prevalence of sudden death. A protein called obscurin plays an important role the way in which the heart cells handle calcium, and decreases in the levels of this protein may increase arrhythmias. Stephanie will investigate obscurin’s role in regulating calcium in cardiomyocytes, and characterize its function on a cellular and molecular level. 

Angela Zuo
Characterizing the lncRNA transcriptome in papillary thyroid carcinoma with RNA-seq

Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) accounts for approximately 85% of thyroid cancer cases in the U.S. and affects females over males by a ratio of about 3:1. Age-adjusted incidence rates for PTC have markedly increased over the past few decades, particularly among women in their forties.  Thus far, a few  genetic alterations have been implicated in papillary thyroid cancer progression, but much of the human genome have been relatively unexplored. Angela’s objective is to utilize next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to identify a panel of mutations in a particular type of RNA and  whose aberrant expression contributes to the pathogenesis of papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Jennifer Beuchel
HPV Vaccine knowledge and use among military personnel

Although research suggests high human papilloma virus (HPV) rates in uniformed personnel; the U.S. military reports lower vaccination uptake rates than the national average.  U.S. Navy personnel are at greater risk for contracting the HPV virus globally, and females due to their minority status in the military.  This study will use a descriptive, cross-sectional, correlational research design to assess the general HPV knowledge, HPV testing knowledge, HPV vaccine knowledge, and HPV vaccine uptake among U.S. Navy personnel.  Results will allow policy makers to develop effective HPV immunization programs and eliminate barriers by increasing awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine.  

Our work in securing scholarships is made possible by our partnerships with both education institutions such as UCSD, SDSU and USD and through the generosity of corporations and individual donations.If you would like to support our scholars, please visit www.howellfoundation.org or contact us at admin@howellfoundation.org. 

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About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community. 

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health;   providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.    For more information about the Doris A. Howell Foundation, please visit www.howellfoundation.org.   

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