Massry Foundation’s $175,000 Grant Supports Seven Keck School of Medicine Research Scholars
Pictured: Dr. Shaul G. Massry presenting the grant from the Meira and Shaul G. Massry Foundation to USC’s Keck School Dean Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito. Photo Courtesy USC
With a goal of helping young researchers launch their careers, the Beverly Hills-based Meira and Shaul G. Massry Foundation has provided a $175,000 gift to USC’s Keck School of Medicine’s Dean’s Fifth-Year Research Scholars program.
With this gift, seven fourth-year medical students have the opportunity to focus on research projects for a full year after graduation, encouraging them in the development of their academic careers before practicing medicine.
Fifth-year scholars receive a stipend of $25,000 each to continue their research. The $175,000 gift is $75,000 more than last year’s gift, giving three more students an opportunity for support.
“I believe that a student who has finished four years of medical school and is ready to postpone his or her career is motivated to be a scientist, and that’s critical,” said Shaul Massry, professor emeritus of medicine, physiology and biophysics at the Keck School and president of the Massry Foundation.
The Foundation is best known for the prize in medicine that it offers to noted scientists — 10 of the 31 Massry Prize winners have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.
Massry served as chief of the division of nephrology at the Keck School from 1974 to 2000, and has received honorary doctorates from 14 European universities.
He has published more than 600 scientific papers and 111 book chapters and has edited 32 books. He created the Massry Foundation in 1995.
According to Massry, encouraging new scientists is vital to the future of medicine. “Clinical medicine is critical,” he said. “It’s important to take care of patients. But to treat disease and to find the right avenues for medications and therapy, we need to understand the disease and what causes it. You need investigators to search for the causes of disease.”
Keck School Dean Carmen A. Puliafito agrees. “I created the Dean’s Fifth-Year Scholar program to give students the opportunity to spend a full year working on focused research projects to prepare them for further research after graduation and encourage them in the development of their academic medical careers,” he said. “We thank Dr. Massry for his foundation’s generous contribution to help our students meet those goals.”
Massry believes that giving back to others is an integral part of life. “In America, this is often called ‘charity,’” he explained. “But in the Jewish tradition, there is no word for charity — the word in Hebrew is ‘tzedakah,’ which means ‘justice.’ I believe that to share with others and to give for good causes is a justice in this world that we are a part of. To invest as a physician in medical education and the encouragement and support of young people in their research careers is something that I believe is essential. If I can do more, I will not hesitate to do so.”