Lynn Tran, a student in the University System of Georgia MD/PhD program at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, has received a Louise McBee Scholarship from the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education.
Tran, who completed her PhD in genomic medicine this spring and will continue her third year of medical school this summer, received $1,000. Tran’s mentor, Dr. Jin-Xiong She, director of the MCG Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, also received a $500 award.
Tran, a native of Cumming, Georgia, came to MCG in 2014, after graduating from the University of North Georgia at age 17. Under She’s mentorship, her research is focused on the identification of biomarkers for the early detection, treatment and prognosis of uterine and ovarian cancers.
The scholarships honor McBee, vice president for academic affairs emerita at UGA, who had a mission of promoting women leaders. At UGA, she also served as dean of women, dean of students and assistant vice president for instruction, among other leadership roles. After retirement in 1988, she became the oldest woman to climb Mount Everest at the time and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives for Clarke County from 1991-2005.
Tran says the scholarship, which supports educational enrichment for women who exhibit leadership potential in higher education, is directly aligned with her career goals. “I’ve always been interested in mentoring young women into STEM fields,” she says. “In Dr. She’s lab, I’ve taken an active role in training new students, partially because it’s something that I really enjoy and partially because having strong women mentors has helped me throughout my education career. I want to provide that for others.”
She plans to use the award to help her travel to future professional development conferences, for example like a regional meeting for the Women in Cancer Research group, part of the American Association for Cancer Research, which she joined last year.
While at MCG, Tran has also been the recipient of the Best Poster Award at the 2019 MD/PhD National Student Conference and the Best Genomic Medicine Poster Award at MCG’s Graduate Research Day.
The University System of Georgia MD/PhD Program offers an integrated basic science and clinical training curriculum to create the next generation of physician-scientists. Students may choose to complete the PhD component at eligible PhD programs at one of the system’s four research universities: MCG, UGA, the Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia State University. Students complete the dual degree, on average, in 7.5 years.