Sixth-year Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) student Lauren Smith received a Presidential Fellowship for her research on upper limb prostheses.
The most prestigious fellowship awarded to graduate students at Northwestern University, winners are selected by the Presidential Fellows committee based on their outstanding intellectual or creative ability.
“It is an honor to receive the fellowship because only a small number of students are selected from the University each year and it is a privilege to share my enthusiasm for my work with other graduate students,” Smith said. “I am excited for the opportunity to interact and discuss challenges that arise in my research with students from different disciplines because I will get a variety of ideas and perspectives that might not have crossed my mind.”
The fellowship will sponsor her next two years of graduate study and support her travel to conferences.
Under the direction of Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD, professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, McCormick School of Engineering and Surgery, and Levi Hargrove, PhD, research assistant professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Smith studies new ways to use the electrical signals produced by arm muscles in an effort to create a prosthesis that allows patients to control the movement of the wrist and the hand at the same time.
“It is rare to find a student who has interest and skill in medicine as well as in electrical engineering and mathematics,” said Director of MSTP Dane Chetkovich, MD, PhD, also an associate professor in The Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology and Physiology. Chetkovich nominated Smith for the fellowship. “Lauren continues to stand out as a graduate student. She keeps adding to her strong publication record, has represented Northwestern at multiple conferences and has been recognized by multiple national-level awards.”
The fellowship is funded by the president of Northwestern University and awarded by The Graduate School. Presidential Fellows participate in the Society of Fellows, which includes current and past recipients. They attend society lunches, dinners and an annual retreat, and they lead discussions, seminars and outreach activities. Smith, along with seven other 2014 fellows, will be inducted into the Society of Fellows at a ceremony in May.