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UMass Worcester- New international scholarship fund awards first fellowships

The Craig Mello-University of Massachusetts Fellowship Fund awarded its first fellowship grants late last year in China. Scholarships were presented to 13 Sichuan University students from the China Key Lab of Biotherapy by a UMass Medical School delegation that included Nobel Laureate Craig C. Mello, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine and professor of molecular medicine and cell biology; Chancellor Michael F. Collins; and Dean Terence R. Flotte. The fellowships were presented at a ceremony attended by more than 600 cheering students at Sichuan University, which received widespread media coverage throughout the region.

Established in August, the Mello-UMass Fund was created in response to the devastating earthquakes that took place last May in the
Sichuan region of China. The goal of the fund is to provide financial support for budding scientists whose educational pursuits were hindered by the damage from the quakes. UMass and UMMS have a number of existing academic, educational and research collaborations with Chinese universities and organizations and have been building partnerships that foster educational program expansion for American and Chinese students and faculty. This scholarship fund is a natural extension of these collaborations and is at the heart of the institution's educational and public service mission.

Upon establishment of the fund, Dr. Mello pledged $10,000 and UMass and UMMS together hope to raise an additional $90,000. Fellowships are expected to be awarded annually by application and recipients will be required to report on their academic progress.

If you are interested in contributing to the Mello-UMassScholarship Fund, gifts can also be made online at www.umassmed.edu/foundation.

3/3/09