Health Sciences Services

December 17, 2021

2021-2022 Magnuson Scholar Winter Updates

Apichai Yavirach
School of Dentistry

I am very honored to be selected as a Magnuson scholar. The Magnuson scholarship has been tremendously helpful for my PhD program and my research throughout this year. As in my 5th and last year of PhD program, I continue working on the projects I proposed when applying for this scholarship. My project is about exploring the pathophysiology of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ), a serious side effect from antiresorptive drugs prescribed for osteoporotic and cancer patients, focusing on two types of cells which are osteoclast and macrophage. The first part about utilizing engineered osteoclasts to study MRONJ just got accepted and published in BONE journal in August 2021. I am currently working on the second part focusing on the roles of macrophages in MRONJ and plan to have my thesis defense in July 2022. After graduation, I plan to go back to Thailand to teach in a dental school at Chiang Mai University as well as continue working on bone biology research. All of these progressions have been made possible through support from the Magnuson scholarship.

Thamanna Nishath
School of Medicine

I am grateful to be given the Magnuson Award and continue to be inspired to contribute to health care, as is shared by the late U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson. It has been impactful in my academic studies and professional growth as I continue medical school and research. Thus far, I have focused on various projects ranging from valve replacements to aortic dissection and telemedicine to race in internal medicine residency programs. More notably, I have focused more time on the topic of Retinoblastoma and looking at various issues in the backdrop of low- and middle-income countries – a geographic population I have long been passionate about and have been less able to commit to since beginning medical school. In addition, my time focused on research has opened up more time for me to dedicate to a few passion projects in health care, which I would prefer to keep closer to my heart. Needless to say, I’ve strived to keep growing to the best of my abilities since this award and hope what I learn will continue to shape the person, physician, and researcher I become.

Tao Zheng
School of Nursing

I am grateful and honored to have been chosen as one of the 2021-2022 Magnuson Scholars. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to Senator Magnuson, his family, and the selection committee for this prestigious award. During the challenging time of the last 2 years, this award has motivated and supported me to continue working towards my academic goals. I have completed all the required and additional coursework for my program of study for the PhD Nursing Science Program. I will be writing my general exam in Winter 2022, and I expect to achieve candidacy in Spring 2022. My dissertation will examine changes in sleep and cognition in individuals with advanced heart failure after receiving a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and how these changes impact physical function, psychological symptoms, and health-related quality of life. This project is part of my application for the Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research. My application received a high impact score and is being considered for funding. During the literature review, I recognized that individuals with diabetes have over twice the risk of developing heart failure. People with diabetes have worse cardiovascular outcomes, hospitalization, and prognosis than those without. While LVAD is associated with improvement in markers of diabetes management, the appropriate duration of follow-up and timing of glycemic tests in this population remains to be investigated. I hope to continue examining contributing factors to clinical outcomes in individuals with heart failure and diabetes after completing my PhD. My long-term goal is to develop interventions and translate my research to optimize patient outcomes in this population.

In addition, the Magnuson Scholarship has provided me with dedicated time to continue to engage in professional development opportunities, such as attending biweekly Cardiovascular Nursing Research meetings and volunteering for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the grant review panel. Since receiving the scholarship, I published one first-authored manuscript on concept analysis of sleep disturbance in individuals with heart failure. I am excited to continue my PhD journey and make meaningful contributions to optimize patient outcomes. In summary, each of these opportunities has supported my academic, professional, and personal growth, which was made possible through the support of the Magnuson Scholarship.

Leticia Salvador Vieira
School of Pharmacy

I am extremely honored to have been selected as a 2021-2022 Magnuson Scholar. My deepest gratitude to all generous donors, friends, and family of Senator Warren G. Magnuson for their support. Research can be challenging, and receiving this award has not only provided me a unique funding opportunity, but has also boosted my self-confidence while I keep working towards my PhD thesis and professional development.

The scholarship supports me during my PhD in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the UW School of Pharmacy, under the mentorship of Dr. Joanne Wang. In my project, I investigate the potential for drug-drug interactions involving organic cation transporters (eg.: OCTs, MATEs, PMAT), as well as the role of such transporters in tumor and normal tissue disposition of mIBG, a radiopharmaceutical used in the diagnosis and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. This award provided me invaluable support, allowing me to focus on my research and seek opportunities to become a more well-rounded professional. During this year I was able to stay productive, present results in a national conference, work on a first-author manuscript preparation, as well as other collaborative publications. I have also led efforts in order to bring together students and post-docs from different departments of the School of Pharmacy after a long period of social isolation. I am full of gratitude, and I hope to honor the incredible legacy of Senator Magnuson during my journey to become a researcher contributing to the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs to treat human diseases.

Dorothy Thomas
School of Public Health

I am deeply honored to have been selected as a Magnuson Scholar. I extend my deepest gratitude to the Magnuson family as well as the selection committee for selecting me as a 2021-2022 scholar.

Presently, I am in the third year of my doctoral studies and this award has facilitated a smooth transition into my dissertation endeavors. My dissertation research is using implementation science techniques to better understand strategies for concurrently addressing challenges of intimate partner violence while improving HIV-related outcomes in Kampala, Uganda. The scholarship has allowed me to focus on collaborating with colleagues at the University of Washington as well as the Infectious Diseases Institute-Kasangati in Kampala, Uganda. I have worked closely with my multi-disciplinary team to refine my dissertation plan and prepare for the initiation of data collection. This award has allowed me to focus on developing and submitting two first-author manuscript publications and on presenting my work at the International Aids Society conference. In addition to strengthening my ability to conduct robust academic research, this award has also supported my ability to network with experts in my field. Further, the award has been pivotal for allowing me to transition into the first phase of active data collection for my dissertation.

The Magnuson Scholarship has been pivotal for advancing my dissertation work and for enriching my development as an academic researcher. I feel so fortunate to have received this award in memory of Dr. Warren G. Magnuson and I am energized to continue producing work that aligns and elevates the profound legacy of Senator Magnuson.

Angela Malorni
School of Social Work

This scholarship has allowed me to focus on completing the data collection and analysis of my dissertation, a Youth Participatory Action Research study on the role of social media and youth sociopolitical development. Youth sociopolitical development is an important protective and promotive factor for a variety of physical and psychosocial health outcomes, as well as academic and career outcomes. I have used this money to expand my research budget, and as a result, included more youth in my project. It also protected my time for the work-intensive time of doing collaborative analysis with young people in research. Currently, I am in the process of translating our research findings into manuscripts for dissemination, as well as supporting the development of policy/practice recommendations with young people. With the support of this scholarship, I am also able to share these important products at one national conference in October and two upcoming national conferences in January and April. Finally, the pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty, but this scholarship provided the security I needed to be able to focus more fully on finishing my PhD this year, successfully navigating the academic job market and prepare for my transition as an early career scholar.