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Baruch College Alumna Wins Jonas E. Salk Scholarship

Prestigious scholarship recognizes CUNY baccalaureates and recent graduates pursuing medical careers


Ma Su Su Aung Salk Scholarship Winner

Baruch College alumna, Ma Su Su Aung, at the Jonas E. Salk Award ceremony at John Jay College


New York, NY May 17, 2017 Ma Su Su Aung (’16) was among the eight winners of the City University of New York’s prestigious 2017 Jonas E. Salk Scholarships for the study of medicine and biomedical sciences. She received a BA in biological sciences from Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College and a minor in interdisciplinary studies and honors in New York City studies.

The award, which recognizes the winners for their outstanding scholarship and research in fields including neuroscience and molecular biology, was presented on May 10 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Created by the Board of Estimate of the City of New York in 1955 to honor the City College graduate who developed the first anti-polio vaccine, the Jonas Salk scholarships are awarded to students who have been accepted to a U.S. medical school and have performed scientific research as an undergraduate. The winners receive a total of $8,000 ($2,000 per year for four-year medical schools) to help defray cost of their medical and graduate studies.

Aung’s laboratory work involves mitochondria proteins and the role they play in resistant tumors. She will attend Creighton University of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.

Family Source of Inspiration

Since childhood, Aung dreamed of becoming a doctor, and she credits her career ambitions to her family and their experiences.

“I watched my father’s efforts in furthering his nursing career and improve life for our family,” said Aung. “Also, I watched my grandmother die from a controllable illness.

“Being able to educate patients about their health and how they can take control of their situations is something that I’m passionate about. Better health literacy starts with doctors.”

After emigrating from Myanmar when she was 15 years old, Aung overcame numerous obstacles to achieve her current success. In particular, she recalled, was the difficulty of learning English, and assimilating into American culture.

“I’ve had to work hard and be extra ambitious to achieve my goals,” she explained. “If it weren’t for my family and support network, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

“I know that I can make a difference. Anything is possible with hard work and perseverance.”



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