The Connecticut Convergence Institute Welcomes Five New YIIP Scholars

The Connecticut Convergence Institute is proud to announce the selection of five new outstanding Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) Scholars. These new YIIP Scholars are recent college graduates who will complete intense graduate level coursework and conduct high caliber research in elite biomedical laboratories on the UConn Health campus. Each year, the search for the next generation of advanced YIIP Scholars is conducted via a rigorous application process, where future students are selected by the YIIP Advisory Committee.

YIIP, which began in 2013, aims to provide academic training to underrepresented minority students who are dedicated to pursuing careers as scientists and scholars in biological and biomedical science, with the intent of developing the next generation of innovative scientists.

“The program provides tools for the YIIP Scholars to conduct intensive research, excel in an academic environment, and develop the skills to become high level candidates for graduate or medical schools. Increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in the fields of science and medicine is one of our primary goals as an Institute.” said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, CEO of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering.

The new YIIP Scholars are:

Kai Clarke: Florida Institute of Technology, Biomedical Engineering

Tebyan Khalfalla: University of Connecticut, Physiology & Neurobiology

David Onwuka: University of Connecticut, Molecular & Cell Biology

Mylan Panteah: New Mexico State Univ., Univ. of North Dakota, Biology, Allopathic Medicine

Christina Valera: University of Connecticut, Physiology & Neurobiology