JCESOM student earns minority research fellowship for child, adolescent psychiatry


A Marshall University medical student has been selected to partake in a minority research fellowship which will allow her to study the prevalence of psychiatric health disorders amongst young people in Appalachia.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime to study the developmental impact on children and adolescent mental health in the Appalachian region,” Chuchitra Thanigaivasan said. “My research will not only provide an overview of the issues we are facing, but also use this information to better serve our patients in through implementation of public health programming.”

Thanigaivasan received the Jeanne Spurlock, M.D., Research Fellowship in Substance Abuse and Addiction for Minority Medical Students from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). 

The fellowship will allow Thanigaivasan to explore a research career in substance use disorder and its connection to child and adolescent psychiatry, network with frontrunners in the child and adolescent psychiatry field and receive unique work experience.

Thanigaivasan will work with Marshall assistant professors Kelly E. Melvin and Hilary N. Porter of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine as well as Marshall alumna Nafeeza Hussain, a physician at Marietta Memorial Hospital.

It also includes an award of up to $4,000 for 12 weeks of research under the guidance of her mentor. The fellowship includes up to $4,000 for 12 weeks of research.

Thanigaivasan said she is thankful for the help and support of her mentors who have been “invaluable” to her experiences in medical school.

Isabella Robinson can be contacted at [email protected]