For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

SMHS awards scholarships to Biomedical Sciences graduate students


Atrayee Bhattacharya and Zachary Hoggarth, graduate students pursuing a degree in biomedical sciences and clinical and translational science, respectively, have been given “Faculty for Students” Scholarships from UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS).

A fifth-year doctoral student, Bhattacharya’s research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a cellular process critical to early cell development that has also been implicated in cancer cell migration and drug resistance.

Zachary Hoggarth, St. Cloud, Minn., is a third-year graduate student exploring the mechanisms involved in the development of basal and luminal subsets of muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

“Zach has a very pleasant demeanor, gets along extremely well with all his colleagues, and is a wonderful mentor for undergraduate as well as high school students as he works alongside them at the bench,” said Hoggarth’s mentor Seema Somji, associate professor in the SMHS Department of Pathology. “His dedication and hard work is paying off early with a manuscript submitted for publication and a second one that is under preparation.”

Bhattacharya is also one of seven biomedical sciences students to be awarded the Richard M. Marwin Scholarship Endowment, which was established by Dr. Marwin and his wife Janet in 2015 for the purpose of providing scholarship support to biomedical sciences students.

“Atrayee is a hard-working and conscientious graduate student,” noted Bhattacharya’s graduate advisor Archana Dhasarathy, assistant professor in the SMHS Department of Biomedical Sciences. “She is also a fantastic colleague, very pleasant and cordial to work with. She was instrumental in developing several techniques in the laboratory, and willingly shares her expertise with her colleagues in our laboratory and across campus.”

Richard M. Marwin Scholarship winners:

  • Sarmad Al-Marsoumm, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Atrayee Bhattacharya, Kolkatta, India
  • Brett McGregor, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Kyle O’Donnell, Glenco, Minn.
  • Meghan Rodriguez, Turlock, Calif.
  • Michael Tomlinson, Rolla, N.D.
  • Menglan Xian, Changsha, China

Founding chair of the former Department of Microbiology & Immunology from 1948 to 1962, Richard M. Marwin, PhD, was a medical mycologist (someone who studies the medical uses of and problems posed by fungi) who was instrumental in the creation of the School’s Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Both of these departments, along with the departments of Anatomy & Cell Biology and Physiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, were consolidated into the Department of Basic Sciences in 2014. This department then became the UND Department of Biomedical Sciences in 2015.