Medical Student Awarded Mental Health Research Scholarship


Hyattsville, Md. (June 13, 2016)—The MedStar Health Research Institute, in conjunction with the Georgetown University School of Medicine, has awarded Baljeet Rai a summer research internship through the Pines-Kleinman Mental Health Fund. Ms. Rai will focus on the correlation between motor symptoms of Huntington’s disease and overall disability, under the mentorship of Karen Anderson, MD, at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

The Pines-Kleinman Mental Health fund was established in 2007 with donations from Wayne Pines, a director and former chairman of the board of the ‎MedStar Health Research Institute; Carol Kleinman, MD, JD, a practicing psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, Md., and their family and friends. The intent of the fund is to support research in the field of mental and behavioral health. The annual prize is awarded to a medical student who has demonstrated service excellence, patient-first activities, innovation, inter-hospital collaboration, and/or leadership in the field of mental health research.

“As an extension of our commitment to advancing health, the summer scholarship programs expose students to medical research and allow them to learn its value and the professional fulfillment it offers,” says Neil Weissman, MD, president of the MedStar Health Research Institute.

Ms. Rai completed her undergraduate education at University of California, Berkeley and says she applied for the scholarship because “I find the brain and central nervous system to be the most fascinating body systems to study, but many times the diseases associated with these systems are also some of the most devastating for patients and their loved ones.”

Dr. Anderson and Ms. Rai will examine motor features of Huntington’s disease, such as chorea and dystonia, to determine which are most associated with disability in activities of daily living, using a database from the Enroll-HD Observational Study.

In addition to this scholarship, MedStar Health Research Institute awards 20 additional summer scholarships to facilitate research mentorships for medical students to work with experienced MedStar clinicians at multiple sites. Each student presents a research abstract at the end of the summer.


About MedStar Health Research Institute

The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. Visit us at

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit


Eva Hochberger
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