Medical Guild Research Symposium and Graduate Student Awards


The Medical Guild Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Competitions

Established in 1959, the UF Medical Guild has been a steadfast pillar of support for UF Health and its surrounding communities. Originally formed by faculty spouses of the newly established UF College of Medicine, the Guild’s mission has endured over the years, expanding its reach to include a wider community of supporters in 2017.

The Guild’s contributions extend to the academic realm, with awards, endowments, and scholarships benefiting medical and biomedical graduate students within the College of Medicine. For senior Biomedical Sciences graduate students, the Guild sponsors two competitions: the Graduate Research Awards and the Advancement to Candidacy Awards.

Graduate Research Awards

The 49th annual Medical Guild-sponsored graduate student research competition, set for Wednesday, April 17, from 1-5 pm in room 125 of the Harrell Medical Education Building, follows a specific format and judging process. Each Biomedical Sciences advanced concentration puts forward one graduate student for participation. The competition involves a 10-minute oral research presentation followed by a 5-minute Q&A session for each participant. Presentations are assessed by a panel of faculty judges who rank them based on excellence. Additionally, students are required to submit an abstract of their research and a biosketch, as awards are also influenced by overall research accomplishments, including publications, presentations, awards, and academic performance. All eight students are acknowledged at the symposium reception, which begins immediately after the competition. Each finalist receives a monetary award provided by the UF Medical Guild. Awards are distributed based on judges’ final rankings: one Gold Medal finalist, two Silver Medal finalists, and five Bronze Medal finalists (subject to change).


Advanced program directors or their designates will coordinate the selection of the nominee from each advanced program in time for submission of the nominating packets.  Please contact your concentration coordinator or graduate administrator for more information.

Nomination packets should include:

  1. A title page that includes the name of graduate student nominee, the name of the nominees mentor, and the exact title of the presentation
  2. An abstract that summarizes the student’s research.  This should be no more than one page in length (single-spaced) and should include the objectives, methods, results and conclusions.
  3. A research article that provides a more detailed report of the student’s research.  This should include the objectives, background, significance, results, and conclusions, and should not exceed 1,500 words double-spaced.  Literature citations and experimental methods should be included as an appendix, and do not count toward the word limitation.  NOTE:  Reprints of published manuscripts that the student has authored should not be submitted in lieu of this description.
  4. An up-to-date biosketch, including publications, abstracts presented at meetings, honors & awards, and grant funding.

Nomination packets should be submitted as an e-mail attachment (PDF format is fine) to The packets will be provided to the judges.  Nomination packets must be received by the OGE at the end of business day on April 8, 2024.

Advancement to Candidacy Awards

The Advancement to Candidacy Award is aimed at recognizing outstanding students in their mid-tenure after they have passed their qualifying examination in their third year of study.  A committee composed of faculty members from each concentration will evaluate the concentration nominees and will choose the top three finalists, who will receive monetary awards.  The winners will be announced at the reception following the Graduate Student Research Award competition on April 17, 2024 from 3-5pm.

The Advancement to Candidacy Award recognizes both academic and research excellence.  Therefore, the criteria for assessment will include:

  1. The transcript of the student in their studies (Office of Grad Ed will provide).
  2. An up-to-date biosketch, including publications, abstracts presented at meetings, honors & awards, and grant funding.
  3. A letter of recommendation by the student’s dissertation mentor.

The concentration directors will nominate up to three students from their concentration for this award. A committee made up of representatives from each concentration will choose the top three and submit their nomination packets as an e-mail attachment (PDF format) to no later than end of business day on March 22, 2024.

Council of Academic Chairs Scholarship Award

The Council of Academic Chairs Scholarship is an annual award given to the graduate student who achieves top honors in the Advancement to Candidacy Competition. This scholarship established in the Fall of 2015, initiated by several College of Medicine foundational science chairs who generously contributed personal gifts and pledges to establish the scholarship. Their aim was to establish, fund, and eventually endow a scholarship dedicated to the highest achiever in the Advancement to Candidacy competition. Recipients of this scholarship are granted financial support to attend scientific or educational career development courses.

To support the Council of Academic Chairs Scholarship, the University of Florida Foundation has created a designated fund titled “Friends of Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences” with the fund code 020269. Those interested in contributing to this scholarship can do so conveniently online @


Past Council of Academic Chairs Scholarship Recipients

Medical Guild & Spring Awards » Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences » College of Medicine » University of Florida

  • 2023: Mario Chang
  • 2022: Phillip Mackie
  • 2021: Leanna Peters
  • 2020: Adityha Gopinath
  • 2019: Jacob Andring
  • 2018: John Calise
  • 2017: Carrie Lomelino
  • 2016: (Inaugural) Daniel Delitto

Past Medical Guild Research Competition winners

  • 2023: Rachel Newsome, Mario Chang, Caitlin Baumer-Harrison, Cora Hart, Grace Lloyd, Mollie Huber, Sadia Sarwar, Frederick Ashby
  • 2022: Adithya Gopinath, Tiffany Frey, Julien Habif, Vrunda Trivedi, Mark McLeod, Ryan Hildebrandt, Collin Douglas, Bin Li
  • 2021: Yuxing Xia, Emily Helm, Mai Tanaka-Wakefield, Chao Xie, William Dodd, Shanan Emmanuel, Shu Guo, Brandon Murphy
  • 2020 Patrick Kellish, Kristen Skruber, Jacob Andring, Kelly DeMars, Lance Denes, Chao Xie, Ashley Zuniga
  • 2019: John Calise, Hunter Futch, Danielle Vermilyea, Betty Wang, Julie Bray, Jana Jenquin, Casey Keuthan, Lance Riley
  • 2018: Vindhya Vijay, Cristina Colomer Winter, Caesar Hernandez, Carrie Lomelino, Iqbal Mahmud, Ruan Oliveira, Lance Riley, Mengxiong Wang
  • 2017: Brittney Newby, James Thomas, Sruti Rayoprolu, Amani Harrandah, Rosha Poudyal, Allyson Shea, Miguel Zarate
  • 2016: Brian Mahon, Joonseok Cho, Justin Kaspar, Stephen Chrzanowski, Yuan Lu, Danielle Sambo
  • 2015: Douglas Bennion, Rony Francois, Geoffrey Rogers, Fatma Ayhan, Shweta Kailasan, Regina Martuscello
  • 2014: Amanda Sacino, Thomas Biel, Tal Salz, Harald Messer, Mini Manchanda, Kamil Nowicki
  • 2013: Ranjan Batra, Stephan Jahn, Hyun Min Jung, Mayank Aggarwal, Cristina Banuelos, Chao Liu
  • 2012: Serena Giovinazzi, Marci Mitchell, Brandon Sack, Joeva Barrow, Karlie Bonstaff, Nikolett Molnar
  • 2011: Sonisha A. Warren, Chen Ling, Sushama Kamarajugadda, Alex Cuenca, Bing Yao, Sarah E. Mondello
  • 2010: Emily Smith, Sarah Szarowicz, Adam Mecca, William Donelan, Katherine Sippel, Travis Jackson
  • 2009: Sunitha Rangaraju, Songqing Li, Andres Acosta, MD, Brittney L. Gurda, Jihae Shin, Sushrusha Nayak
  • 2008: Allyn Spear, Jason O’Rourke,Jeffrey Brower,Stephen Fernando,Jason Weinstein
  • 2007: Pui Lee, Roxana Coman, Zane Zeier, Kwon-Ho Hong, You-Lin Tain, Kim Van Vliet
  • 2006: Valerie Crusselle Davis, Christina Pacak, Michael Godeny, Amar Singh, Nicole Tester, Bei Wang
  • 2005: Antonio Amelio, Stephanie Amici, Christina Norris, Padraic Levings, Ann Griswold, Sean Kearns
  • 2004: Karen Vieira, Rahul Kanadia, Eric Sandberg, Edgar Rodriguez, Mary Ann Checkley, Alaric Falcon
  • 2003: Stormy Chamberlain, Jared Wilsey, Erin Keen Rhinehart, Chris Williams, Steve Guthrie, Jin He
  • 2002: Angela Starkes, Brian Raisler, Kelly Leach, Mike Thomson, Jason Coleman, Yi Tang
  • 2001: Matthew Simmons, Don Latner, Sung-Hae Lee Kang, Keith Bahjat
  • 2000: Vincent Leveque, Harveen Dhillon, Susan Blaydes, Lingyun Li
  • 1999: Yuan Clare Zhang, Darwin Ang, Kristin B. Moon, Yujiang Shi
  • 1998: Jeff Martens, Jill Miller, Kelly McDonald, Pei Wu
  • 1997: Annette Oberdorf, Stephen T. Nowicki, Mary Catherine Bowman, Miduturu Srinivas
  • 1996: Scott Wilson, Tiffany Alley, Steve Munger, Chris Robinson