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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Philip Bulterys, 2011

MD/PhD, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Philip Bulterys is the child of immigrants from Belgium and China

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD/PhD in Medicine and Molecular Biology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Philip was born in Los Angeles to a Belgian father and Chinese mother, both of whom were trained in epidemiology and public health. The family moved to Rwanda when Philip was one year old, where his parents conducted HIV research, but their work was disrupted by the Rwandan genocide. After a decade back in the U.S., the family moved to Zambia where Philip completed high school. He returned to Zambia following his freshman and sophomore years of college as a visiting researcher with the Malaria Institute at Macha.

Philip attended Stanford University where he majored in biology with a concentration in microbiology and immunology. At Stanford, Philip served as Director of Education for FACE AIDS, a national student organization, and volunteered as a middle school health tutor. He also conducted research on HIV/malaria coinfection and HIV evolution with Dr. Dmitri Petrov and Dr. David Katzenstein. He graduated with honors in 2010.

Philip entered the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program in 2010, received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 2017, and anticipates his M.D. in 2019. For his Ph.D. thesis, Philip studied the Tier 1 select agent bacterial pathogens, Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei, in the laboratory of Dr. Jeff F. Miller. He developed a high-throughput small molecule screening platform that successfully identified several new therapeutic leads for these high-consequence pathogens. He also contributed to the discovery of novel features of Burkholderia pathogenesis. Philip’s M.D./Ph.D. training has been supported by a Soros Fellowship for New Americans and an NIH NIAID F30 Fellowship.

Philip maintains an interest in the epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases, and has investigated the environmental drivers of the tropical diseases penicilliosis and melioidosis, together with collaborators in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He is also passionate about engaging the public in science, placing 2nd in the 2016 UCLA Grad Slam (a campus-wide research talk competition) and mentoring graduate students in science communication. Philip hopes to serve vulnerable populations as a physician-scientist and develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for emerging infectious diseases.

Education
  • MD Medicine | University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 2019
  • PhD Molecular Biology | University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 2017
  • BS Biology | Stanford University 2010