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Student Using National Award to Study Human Immune System

July 04, 1993|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

Langston Holly is spending his summer vacation working on a research project that could someday save lives.

A third-year UCLA medical student, Holly is working with Dr. Keith Black, an associate professor in the division of neurosurgery at the UCLA School of Medicine, to investigate ways of enhancing the body's own immune system to fight primary brain tumors.

"Using rats as a model, we will attempt to build up the natural immune system, enabling it to fight tumors on its own," the 24-year-old Culver City resident said. "This is a very good opportunity for me to learn about academic medicine because you need to be well-versed in academic and clinical medicine" to provide quality care to patients.

Named one of 35 national winners of the prestigious Fellowship Program in Academic Medicine, Holly is using the $6,000 honorarium to fund the 12-week research project in the Brain Tumor Research Laboratory at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. He said he is enjoying the break from the classroom and feels lucky to have been given such an opportunity.

Holly, who plans to be a neurosurgeon, has been strongly influenced by two role models: his father, who is also a neurosurgeon, and Black.

He selected Black as his mentor for reasons that went beyond the doctor's expertise in medicine.

"The fact that Dr. Black is an African-American is important to me," Holly said.

"He understands my concerns, and has been an excellent role model and advocate to me, which is a role I want to fill for other African-American students now and after I graduate."

Holly was born in Missouri and moved to Los Angeles when he was a toddler. In high school, he said, he discovered an interest in science.

"I have always had an aptitude for science and liked talking to people," he said. "It appeared to me (that medicine) was a perfect combination."

He studied molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, and was active in the African Students Assn. and Berkeley Alternatives Recreation program.

In addition to receiving the regional Charles R. Drew Scholarship Award for superior academic achievement, Holly helped more than 35 minority students enter the sciences through the UCB Merit Scholars Program before enrolling in medical school.

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Santa Monica resident Michael Fuller has been named Chief Note & Comment Editor of the Southwestern University Law Review for 1993-94.

A third-year student at the Los Angeles law school, Fuller earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Missouri.

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UCLA physicist James Rosenzweig has been selected for a 1993 Superconducting Super Collider Fellowship.

One of 24 scientists from across the county granted a fellowship, Rosenzweig will conduct research on the physics of charged particle beams.

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St. John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica has given its first Caritas Award to actor James Stewart.

It is intended to become an annual award, honoring people for volunteer and charitable efforts.

Stewart was recognized for his more than 40 years of charitable work for the Santa Monica hospital. He received the award on May 22, his 85th birthday.

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The 5,000-member Beverly Hills chapter of Hadassah has elected Dorothy Salkin as its president.

A community leader and activist, Salkin has served as vice president of Sinai Temple and is a member of numerous community organizations.

She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and earned a master's degree in social work from Ohio State University.

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Robert Riddle, academic dean at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, was recently awarded a Klingenstein Fellowship from Columbia University Teachers College.

Riddle, who holds degrees from Pennsylvania State University, will use the fellowship to develop a model for independent schools on ways to address issues concerning sexual orientation.

The Klingenstein Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and strengthening leadership in independent schools.

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