The NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program is now the most selective biomedical PhD and MD/PhD training program and trains more “prestige” Scholars (Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Gates, Howard Hughes Medical, Fulbright, Goldwater) than any other program in the world.
The average Scholar has achieved a 3.8-3.9 GPA, and just as importantly demonstrated unique prowess and creativity in the laboratory as an undergraduate.
In 2004, the trustees of the Rhodes Scholarship entered into a formal agreement with the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program enabling the co-funding of their Scholars – their only such arrangement in the history of the Rhodes.
The Program has over 45 doctoral graduates and a current enrollment of 113 students. To date, our Scholars have produces 417 publications of their research in peer-reviewed journals. Of these, 153 have been first authored papers.
One of the numerous examples of our Scholars’ papers is the work of Paul Tesar (Oxford, 2003 matriculant): in July 2007, Paul published research from his PhD thesis on a major discovery regarding the inherent nature of embryonic stem cells of mice in Nature magazine. Because of its importance to biomedicine, Paul’s work was the subject of news stories in the New York Times, CNBC, and the BBC Network. The significance of the work results from the ubiquitous use of mice models as the first step in many applications of research into human health disorders. Paul’s discovery will guide countless future scientists along more productive paths of research.
Remarkable for any PhD program, our Scholars are graduating in an average of four years – just as we expected. Each of our Alumni has been awarded extraordinary opportunities to apply their capabilities in their new positions. Several have chosen to pursue Medical Degrees (MD/PhDs) enabling them to enhance their ability to do translational research. Their medical schools include Duke, Einstein, Harvard, Yale, and Washington University in St. Louis. Students have been awarded faculty (and lab) positions at UCSF, University College London, Cambridge, and Oxford. Others have accepted post-doctoral positions around the world at Genentech, NIH, Cancer Research UK, and the Karoliniska Institute in Sweden. Graduates have accepted scientifically oriented consulting positions with McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group.
To emphasize the importance of these opportunities presented to our graduates, Ogechi Ikediobi, upon receiving her PhD from our Program, was awarded an assistant professorship at UCSF. Ogechi is now running her own laboratory at age 26. Her professorship is in applied clinical pharmacogenomics – the discipline of using genomic information to develop medical cures tailored to the individual’s genetic make-up.