Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar

Nominations for the Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar are currently closed.

Candidates for the Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar are graduate students in biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. track) who have completed the qualifying exam and have at least one year left to complete the Ph.D. degree. Competitive nominees are those who demonstrate excellent leadership qualities through their research and service to the scientific community, as well as characteristics that exhibit outstanding potential to impact medicine through research during their careers.

The Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar receives a $1,000 cash prize and is afforded the distinct opportunity to be mentored for a year by the corresponding recipient of the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science – a scientist of national reputation who has a stellar record of research accomplishments and is known for their mentorship. 

This cycle’s Scholar will be mentored by the 2023 Vanderbilt Prize recipient, Professor Dame Frances Ashcroft, professor of Physiology at the University of Oxford, a fellow of Trinity College Oxford and is known internationally for her work on insulin secretion, Type 2 diabetes and neonatal diabetes.


The Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholar will be recognized during Professor Ashcroft's Discovery Lecture


Nominee eligibility:

  • Graduate student in biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. track)
  • Must have at least one year left to complete the Ph.D. degree
  • Must have completed the qualifying examination


Nomination process:

Nominations are accepted from department Chairs and Program Directors in the biomedical sciences, as well as Directors of graduate studies and faculty mentors.


Nomination materials should be submitted as a single PDF to

  • Nominee's CV
  • Nomination letter from the faculty mentor, advisor or nominator
  • Copy of the nominee's thesis proposal
  • Committee report from the nominee's qualifying examination


Questions? Contact



Vanderbilt Prize Student Scholars



Yasminye Pettway

Mentor Frances Ashcroft, FRS, FMedSci, DBE.

Yasminye Pettway is a a fourth-year graduate student in the Medical Scientist Training Program and doctoral candidate in the laboratory of Al Powers, MD, director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, and Marcela Brissova, PhD, research professor of Medicine.

See the VUMC Reporter article.



2022: Catherine Shelton (Mentor: Ruth Lehmann, Ph.D.)

2021: Paige Vega (Mentor: Aviv Regev, Ph.D.)

2020: Katherine Amidon Paulin (Mentor: Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D.)

2019: Megan Rasmussen (Mentor: Christine Seidman, M.D.)

2018: Alissa Guarnaccia (Mentor: Angelika Amon Ph.D.)

2017: Katherine Rothamel (Mentor: Lynee Maquat, Ph.D.)

2016: Chloe Snider (Mentor: Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.)

2015: Lisa Poole  (Mentor: Huda Zoghbi, M.D.)

2014: Jessica Moore  (Mentor: Susan Lindquist, Ph.D.)

2013: Lisa Funkhouser-Jones  (Mentor: Laurie Glimcher, M.D.)

2012: Jacci Claus  (Mentor: Joan Steitz, Ph.D.)

2011: Bianca Sirbu  (Mentor: Titia de Lange, Ph.D.)

2010: Emily Anderson  (Mentor: Nancy Andrews, M.D., Ph.D.)

2009: Elizabeth Nguyen Dong  (Mentor: Susan Taylor, Ph.D.)

Learn more about our incredible mentors, the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science Winners, here.