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Washington Family Scholar in Neuroscience Awards

Two USC Students to Receive Scholarships from Department of Neurosugery

Although applications were received from as far as Georgia, New York and Connecticut, the two young scientists receiving this year's Pauletta and Denzel Washington Family Scholar in Neuroscience Awards, presented by Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery, will feel right at home in the Los Angeles area.

Donald J. Phillips, 27, a third-year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, is a resident of Pasadena. Henry Wu, 21, who is in his fourth undergraduate year at USC, lives in Arcadia.

Phillips and Wu will receive their awards from actor Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta, during a ceremony at the Shreveport, Louisiana campus of Southern University on Sunday, June 24. In addition to the Washingtons, Keith L. Black, M.D., chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, will speak at the awards ceremony, which is held in a different location each year.

Phillips, who received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in public health from Boston University, intends to become an academic neurological surgeon. Wu's goal is to become a physician and scientist, and he has worked as a laboratory research assistant at USC, studying the biological basis of psychopathic, antisocial and violent behaviors.

The Washington Family Gifted Scholar program provides $2,500 in monthly support for a graduate-level researcher and $2,000 per month for an undergraduate. Recipients work during the summer months under the direction of respected physicians, neurosurgeons and scientists, and prepare a scientific abstract or paper to submit to a national neuroscience, cancer or neurosurgery organization.

Cedars-Sinai has awarded the scholarships since 2004.