UNC medical student honored by Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Naman Shah, a student in the UNC School of Medicine, has been awarded a 2010 fellowship by the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.

Shah is one of 30 young scholars granted the fellowships, which support the graduate studies of immigrants and children of immigrants. The two-year awards provide cash grants of up to $50,000 and tuition support of up to $40,000.

Shah is a third-year MD/PhD candidate in UNC School of Medicine’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).  He also received a Bachelor of Public Health degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating from the department of environmental sciences and engineering with highest honors and distinction in public service. He was a North Carolina Leadership Fellow and an IBM Watson scholar as an undergraduate. 

Shah was born in 1985 in Charlotte to parents who emigrated from India and are now US naturalized citizens. They still reside in North Carolina.

Citing his parents struggles as new immigrants, Shah has committed as a responsibility to give back to his family, his home country of India, and the U.S. and world. To achieve these civic and scientific goals, Shah sought out experience in the field, working in a polio eradication program after college, and focusing his MD/PhD work on combating malaria in India. 

Shah intends to become a medical research scientist, focusing on infectious disease, with a goal to “safeguard the health of the world from epidemics.” He has submitted/published ten articles in peer-reviewed journals, received 19 competitive research grants, and created and maintains one of the only two dedicated malaria blogs on the internet (http://topnaman.com).  Most recently, he created a social enterprise lab called VeerLabs, LLC.  He explains: “veer meaning bold in ancient Sanskrit describes our approach to low-cost combined with high-tech to address key health challenges.”

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans were established in 1997. Over the past 13 years, 384 fellowships have been awarded, including 61 fellows conducting graduate study in 18 different fields at 20 universities.

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