National MD-PhD Student Conference

Melvin Denis

Melvin Denis was an MD-PhD student at the University of Utah who regularly attended the National MD-PhD Student Conference. He was a vivacious, outgoing, hardworking student who made a memorable impact on those around him. Melvin was awarded a Diversity Travel Award to attend the 2004 conference and as always made a valuable contribution to the conference. We lost Melvin on December 11th, 2004 to an avalanche in the backcountry of Utah, which he loved to frequent.

In his honor we have established this special diversity travel award in his name. This award will recognize a student who represents some of the qualities important to Melvin, such as a dedicated passion for science and a commitment to diversity in the sciences. The student selected for this award will be chosen from those applying for the diversity travel awards. The recipient of this award will be chosen to share their work in an oral presentation and recognized at the conference.


  • 2005 – Amy Boudreau, The Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • 2006 – William Buitrago, Baylor University
  • 2007 – Roman Barraza, Mayo Clinic
  • 2008 – Gregory Payne – Indiana University, School of Medicine
  • 2009 – Bozho Todorich, Penn State College of Medicine
  • 2010 – Carissa Thomas, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 2011 – Cedar Fowler, National Institutes of Health Intramural MD-PhD Partnership
  • 2012 – Joshua Brown, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • 2013 – Courtney George, University of Louisville School of Medicine