Meet the 2020 Laureates: Alvin C. Powers, MD

Al.Powers

Alvin C. Powers, MD

Outstanding Educator Award

Alvin C. Powers, director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, has made special contributions to education as director of the Vanderbilt Medical Student Research Training Program and director of the NIDDK Medical Student Research Program (DK-MSRP).

The former is a NIH-supported program enabling medical students from throughout the nation to conduct intensive, mentored diabetes or endocrine research at Vanderbilt in the summer following their first year of medical school. Students also participate in a Powers-designed curriculum that emphasizes the importance of scientific discovery in improving clinical care and provides guidance about career opportunities in diabetes, endocrinology, and biomedical research.

This award recognizes Powers’ exceptional educational efforts that have had a profound influence on more than 1,000 U.S. medical students and is fostering development of young physician-scientists with an interest in endocrinology.

Under his leadership, over the past 20 years more than 600 students from 90 U.S. medical schools have participated in this Vanderbilt program. Because of the success of this program, Powers developed and has led the NIDDK-sponsored DK-MSRP since 2008 during which time more than 700 students from over 100 U.S. medical schools have conducted research at NIDDK-supported Diabetes Research Centers and learned about challenges, opportunities, and career pathways in diabetes and endocrinology through a web-based curriculum he coordinates. At the conclusion of their summer research experiences, students from both programs attend a two-day research symposium designed and led by Powers to present their research to peers and visiting professors and to engage in discussions about research and career pathways in academic medicine and endocrinology.

Because so many students from these programs have published their research findings, subsequently conducted biomedical research, and/or entered the field of endocrinology, this award recognizes Powers’ exceptional educational efforts that have had a profound influence on more than 1,000 U.S. medical students and is fostering development of young physician-scientists with an interest in endocrinology.

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