Information for Medical Students

The following information is provided as a general resource for medical students in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. This is meant to serve as an introduction–more detailed information and answers to specific questions can be obtained by visiting the Duke School of Medicine web site.

Medical education at the Duke University School of Medicine includes programs that train medical students, residents and fellows, research scientists and post-doctoral fellows, physical therapists, physician assistants and pathologist assistants.

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) Program
Consistently ranked as one of the top ten programs in the country, Duke’s medical school curriculum is unique, exciting, and research-oriented. Learn more.

Ph.D. Programs in Biomedical Sciences
The Biosciences Graduate Programs offer interdisciplinary graduate programs in basic sciences and involve students in cutting-edge research. Learn more.

M.D./Ph.D. Program
The Medical Scientist Training Program is a dual-degree program — medical students continue their studies with additional research and earn both an M.D. and a Ph.D. Learn more.

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore
Duke has partnered with the National University of Singapore to offer an American-style medical (M.D.) education through the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. Learn more.

Residency and Fellowships
Duke’s graduate medical education (GME) training programs offer outstanding mentors, facilitators and clinical and research opportunities. Learn more.

For comprehensive information about medical education opportunities, please visit the Duke School of Medicine web site.

Research Scholarships for Third Year Medical Students

Award Recipients

Duke is unique among medical schools in that the third year experience involves a year of focused scholarship involving research, international travel, or public health aspects of medicine. This provides a unique and broad perspective on the role and possible impact of research in medicine, and as such can serve as a formative experience.  Because medicine and research are each very different pursuits, requiring different skills and approaches, graduates of the Duke medical school have an appreciation and understanding of the potential impact of research in the future trajectory of medicine, and as such, can serve as ambassadors between these two disciplines.

Beginning in 2010, there will be two $5,000 scholarships awarded to students conducting third year research in a laboratory affiliated with a primary or secondary faculty member in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. The MGM scholarships are named for past department chairs and for Thomas Mitchell, PhD, in recognition of his dedication to third year students.

These scholarships are restricted to students working in the field indicated by the name of the scholarship with a mentor (who has a primary or secondary appointment in MGM) on the approved list. Currently, it is expected that MD-PhD candidates and students receiving significant external scholarship funding, such as HHMI fellowships, will not be eligible for these scholarships.

Two of the four scholarships will be awarded in any given year, depending on the interests and availability of appropriate students. Applicants will be evaluated by a departmental committee. The four MGM scholarships are:

  • The Nevins Scholarship in Molecular Genomics
  • The Petes Scholarship in Genetics and Cancer Biology
  • The Keene Scholarship in RNA and Molecular Biology
  • The Mitchell Scholarship in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Additional information will be provided to the Office of Student Affairs, Advisory Deans, and Third Year Program Directors as these scholarship opportunities are finalized. Students should apply via the standard scholarship application available from the Office of Student Affairs, and the application deadline will be the same as for all other internal scholarships.

Questions about the Third Year Medical Student scholarships can be directed to Joanna Downer, at 681-8272 or

For information about additional Third Year Scholarships and financial aid, please visit the School of Medicine web site.

2012 Third Year Medical Student Research Scholarship Recipients

Name: Juliana Gao
Lab: St. Geme
Award Period: 2012-2013 Academic Year
Project Title: Determinants of Kingella kingae adherence to respiratory epithelial cells via the Knh trimeric autotransporter


Juliana Gao

I received my B.S. degree in Chemical Biology from University of California – Berkeley in 2010. During my undergraduate years, I participated in clinical research on iron deficiency and optimal iron supplementation in child-bearing women as well as basic science research on protein translation initiation of Hepatitis C virus. I have received the T Dale Stuart scholarship in 2009 and Merck Index award in 2010. In the coming year, I will be working with Dr. Joseph St. Geme III on the pathogenesis, particularly the protein domain responsible for adherence of Kingella kingae to the respiratory epithelium, and potentially facilitate future approach to prevention of the disease.

2010 Third Year Medical Student Research Scholarship Recipients

Name: Nicholas Turner
Lab: Gromeier
Award Period: 2010-2011 Academic Year
Project Title: Rational Use of Signal Transduction Inhibitors in Malignant glioma


Nicholas Turner

Nicholas Turner, a third year medical student at Duke University Medical Center, has been selected to receive the Petes Scholarship in Genetics and Cancer Biology. Turner will be working in the lab of Matthias Gromeier, MD, a faculty member in the Departments of Surgery and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, who is working on molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and the potential possibilities for new treatment strategies for cancer and infectious disease.

Turner received his B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 and has received many scholarships and awards including the Hinsdil High Achievement Award in Microbiology in 2008.

Virtual Library
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology maintains a virtual library of resources for loan to graduate students, medical students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, and primary or secondary faculty affiliated with the Department of Molecular Genetics. The library features categories devoted to bacterial pathogenesis, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, infectious diseases, microbiology, and mycology. Click here to view a complete list of available resources.