Mental Health Research Scholarship Awarded to Georgetown Medical Student | MedStar Health

Mental Health Research Scholarship Awarded to Georgetown Medical Student

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Hyattsville, MD (July 10, 2017) — The MedStar Health Research Institute has awarded a scholarship for a summer research internship through the Pines-Kleinman Mental Health Fund to a Georgetown University medical student. Megan O’Brien will study adverse childhood experiences and the effect they have on childhood development under the mentorship of Matthew Biel, MD at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

The summer scholar program is an eight-week program for first-year Georgetown University medical students, supporting their interest in a field of research.

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. This fund supports 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.

“It has been established that the stress of these adverse experiences is linked to a host of problems, including, but not limited to addiction, depression, obesity, cancer and premature mortality,” said O’Brien. “For my project, I will have the opportunity to work with Dr. Matthew Biel, and the Early Childhood Innovation Network, launched by Children’s National and Georgetown. The goal of their team is to provide interventions during the critical window of child development, and research what works in order to help create a new model of preventative health care.”

“As early-career students, the opportunity to participate in research can help foster their involvement in research later on in their professional career,” Neil Weissman, MD, president of the MedStar Health Research Institute. “Our ties to Georgetown University and the summer scholarship program highlight our work as an academic health system.”

O’Brien received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Human Biology. “Before coming to Georgetown, I was involved in independent biomedical research at Stanford and have seen how important medical research is to the advancement of patient diagnosis and treatment. There is so much that we still do not know, and so many things that we can be doing better to provide a higher quality of patient care.”

The Pines-Kleinman Mental Health scholarship is one of several summer research scholarships awarded to the class of 2020. These scholarships facilitate research mentorships for medical students with experienced MedStar clinicians across the system. The summer program concludes with a capstone presentation of the student research in the fall.



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. For more information, visit

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

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