Funto Akindona.
Funto Akindona.

Carleton Scholar Awarded Prestigious NIH Scholarship

Fall 2018 | Houston

Funto Akindona, a junior Scholar at Carleton College, has received a highly competitive National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) scholarship. She is the first Posse Houston Scholar to receive an NIH scholarship.

The NIH awards approximately 15 such grants each year. The four-year renewable UGSP scholarship covers tuition and other educational and living expenses. In return, recipients commit to a 10-week summer laboratory experience and employment at the NIH after graduation.

“MD Anderson solidified my interest in biomedical research as a viable career.”

Funto sees the commitments as opportunities for invaluable research training, which will be critical for her future career plans. Last summer, she gained experience as a research intern at MD Anderson Cancer Center through the Posse Career Program, examining carcinoma cells. She also observed the surgical removal of a gland tumor.

MD Anderson solidified my interest in academic medicine and biomedical research as a viable career,” Funto says. “I love the idea of having a question and being able to seek out the answer through scientific inquiry. I love that scientists are lifetime learners.”

“The Posse Houston team and I are so proud of her,” says Posse Houston Career Program Manager Keila Simmons. “I know how much this NIH scholarship means to her.”

Funto’s specific passion now lies with biomedical sciences, and she hopes to one day become an academic physician who can conduct research to improve outcomes for her patients. She is focusing her Carleton studies on chemistry, neuroscience and biochemistry, subjects she will eventually apply in medical school and on her path to a doctoral degree.