Sabrina Martyr, a junior chemistry major at the University of the Virgin Islands, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) undergraduate scholarship.
Martyr is one of 13 scholarship recipients from a national pool of 220 applicants for the 2000-2001 academic year.
The NIH is one of the world's foremost medical research centers and the federal focal point for medical research in the U.S.
The NIH scholarship provides Martyr with fully paid tuition and educational and living expenses, up to $20,000 per year.
As a condition of the scholarship, Martyr agreed to complete one 10-week summer laboratory experience at the NIH and a year of NIH research service (post-graduation) for each year of scholarship support."I do feel honored, extremely honored," Martyr said."Ever since I first heard about the NIH it has been my goal to go there and meet people who share my interests."
Martyr, 20, who received a four-year Jane E. Tuitt Scholarship to attend UVI, said she plans to obtain a doctorate in biomedical research with a particular interest in oncology and hematology. She said she is familiar with the field of biomedical research after having participated in summer research projects at the University of Illinois at Urbana.
UVI Chemistry Professor Frank P. Rinehart is Martyr's faculty advisor.
"The fact that Sabrina has successfully competed for the NIH Scholarship Program and has a number of opportunities to choose from is a tribute to her ability," Rinehart said. "It is also indicative, however, of the increased access to special programs, to financial support, and travel for all our UVI Science and Mathematics majors. Our faculty and support staff help students identify opportunities and provide guidance on how to successfully apply for them. Our students are doing meaningful research at UVI, are spending summers in top research labs in the U.S., and have better access than ever before to graduate and professional schools. The secret truth is that UVI is rich in opportunities for students."
The youngest of eight children of Nerisa and Cuthbert Martyr of Micoud, St. Lucia,Martyr said she has always enjoyed academic pursuits.
In her spare time she reads medical thrillers and especially enjoys those by Robin Cook.

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