Raul F. Membreño, a a third-year medical student in the Long School of Medicine, has been selected for the 2019-2020 Medical Research Scholars Program by the National Institutes of Health. He is one of only 50 students selected nationwide.
The year-long research training program allows medical, dental, and veterinary students to pause their university studies to live and conduct basic, clinical, or translational research work on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The scholars begin their fellowship in July 2019.
The selected participants receive mentored training and will conduct research in areas that match their personal interests and research goals.
Membreño, who is also enrolled in the M.D./M.P.H. program, said he is pursuing a career in ophthalmology. His mentor during the research year will be Emily Chew, M.D., director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications and the deputy clinical director at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.
“Although I have not selected a project yet, I am intrigued by the latest developments and technology in ophthalmology such as artificial intelligence ocular imaging programs,” Membreño said.
Membreño, who was born in Costa Rica, moved to the U.S. at the age of 2. He graduated from San Antonio Christian High School and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“My long-term career goal is to direct clinical trials that improve health outcomes for patients suffering from vision loss or blindness around the world,” he said.