Niswender named Culpeper Scholar

By Craig Boerner

Vanderbilt University’s Kevin Niswender, M.D., Ph.D., has been named one of three 2006 Charles E. Culpeper Medical scholars, according to Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships.

With the honor, Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships has awarded a $324,000 grant to Vanderbilt to support the career development of Niswender. Niswender, who was selected from a pool of candidates nominated by 34 medical schools across the country, received his M.D., Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 1998 and went on to complete his training at the University of Washington, where he was mentored by Michael Schwartz, M.D., professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition. “Kevin’s research is very exciting because he has been looking at signaling in the brain and leptin acts to reduce food intake,” said Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This work not only expands our understanding of basic neuroscience but also has potential clinical application.”

Philanthropic Partnerships concluded an agreement with the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund in April 2004 that moved responsibility for the Charles E. Culpeper Scholarships in Medical Science and Biomedical Pilot Initiative grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships.

The Scientific Advisory Committee, which assists the foundation selection process, nominated Niswender from an “outstanding group of individuals,” according to Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships President and CEO Jerry Glashagel.

The grant will be paid in installments of $108,000 from 2006-2008 and is subject to satisfactory progress in periodic reporting submitted to the Partnerships.