P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Sunil Kumar Joshi, 2019

PhD/MD, Oregon Health & Science University

Sunil Kumar Joshi is the child of immigrants from India

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD/MD in Cancer Biology and Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University

SUNIL KUMAR JOSHI was born in Vallejo, California to immigrants from India who came to the United States with a desire to give their children a better future. His parents dedication to provide for their family has served as a source of motivation for Sunil to take initiative and make the most of his opportunities. Sunil’s interest in medicine and science stems from caring for his grandfather who suffered from hypertension and prostate cancer.

From advocating for his grandfather’s health needs, Sunil realized his ultimate passion lies in caring for patients from underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged families. This passion was further enhanced through Sunil’s undergraduate schooling at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied molecular and cellular biology and was a member and biology tutor at the Biology Scholars Program.

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Sunil worked at UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a research associate and medical assistant at an outpatient HIV clinic. His time at UCSF cemented Sunil’s desire to become a clinician-scientist.

Currently, Sunil is a student and ARCS Foundation Scholar in Oregon Health & Science University’s Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his dissertation research in Dr. Brian J. Druker’s laboratory with Dr. Cristina E. Tognon and Dr. Elie Traer serving as co-mentors. His dissertation focused on understanding intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of drug resistance in the setting of leukemia. His ultimate career goal consists of developing a productive cancer research laboratory while maintaining a tightly integrated clinical practice at an academic medical center. He intends to pursue research focused on understanding the contribution of the tumor microenvironment in mediating drug resistance with the eventual goal of harnessing this knowledge to improve the lives of patients with cancer.

Apart from his interest in medicine and science, Sunil is equally passionate about increasing and retaining diversity in the biomedical sciences and as such has been involved in numerous initiatives locally and nationally (e.g., NIH BUILD EXITO, Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students, Ted R. Lilley Continuing Umbrella of Research Education Program, Wy’east, American Association for Cancer Research – Associate Member Council).

Education
  • PhD Cancer Biology | Oregon Health & Science University 2021
  • BA Molecular & Cellular Biology | University of California, Berkeley 2011
  • MD Medicine | Oregon Health & Science University
Awards
  • UC Regents' and Chancellor's Scholarship
  • National Cancer Institute NRSA Fellowship
  • OHSU Center of Diversity & Inclusion Outstanding Student Leadership Plaque
  • ARCS Foundation Scholar
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Scholar-in-Training Award
  • I.L. Chaikoff Memorial Award
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