February 21, 2018

UMMS M.D./Ph.D. student awarded prestigious Gates Cambridge Trust scholarship

Warren Pan will pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in medical science (clinical biochemistry) in the lab of Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, M.D.,

M.D./Ph.D. student Warren Pan

During his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, Warren Pan looked to understand and unravel the invisible levers of finance and trade by concentrating on economics.

The economic downturn of 2008, however, shifted that focus to exploring medicine and science. Now a student in the University of Michigan Medical School M.D./Ph.D. program, Pan is studying disease at both the bench and bedside.

“I aim to become a physician-scientist who asks and answers questions grounded in clinical medicine that can be translationally applied to patients,” Pan says. “In the wards, I have witnessed the clinical significance and importance of disease; therefore, I hope to further our understanding of disease pathogenesis and uncover effective therapies through research in the lab.”

Pan recently received a scholarship from the Gates Cambridge Trust, one of 35 students across the country so honored. The scholarship program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, awards scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. 

“I am thrilled to receive this scholarship, which would not have been possible without the tremendous support of the Medical School, my family, and mentors, especially my Ph.D. advisor Dr. Martin Myers.”

Pan will take a leave from his U-M studies in 2018-19 to pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in medical science (clinical biochemistry) in the lab of Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, M.D., a physician-scientist known for his research in the molecular pathogenesis of human obesity, insulin resistance, and related metabolic and endocrine disorders. Pan then will return to Michigan for his final year, with plans to graduate with his M.D. in May 2020.

“My Ph.D. in the Myers lab examined obesity pathology; I hope to extend this understanding of metabolic dysfunction through this experience in the O’Rahilly lab and learn how to translationally apply basic science findings at the bench-side to patient care at the bedside,” Pan says. “Additionally, through the Gates community, I hope to further develop my understanding of using multidisciplinary approaches to address multifaceted diseases like obesity.”

Pan’s previous research experiences include developing targeted immunotherapies at the National Institutes of Health and understanding hyperleptinemia in obesity during his Ph.D. studies in the lab of Myers, who is the Marilyn H. Vincent Professor of Diabetes Research, and a professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular and Integrative Physiology.