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Former Board Chair David Barlow has endowed a fellowship that forges a closer relationship between two institutions that are dear to his heart: McLean Hospital and his alma mater, Bates College.
The John Kelsey Fellowship is named after the retired Bates professor who built the college’s neuroscience program and nurtured generations of neuroscientists, including Bill Carlezon, PhD, chief of McLean’s Center of Excellence in Basic Neuroscience.
“This fellowship reflects my strong belief in the importance of a liberal arts education as the foundation for all kinds of scientific endeavors,” said Barlow, chair and CEO of Psy Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical startup. Barlow said that while he would be delighted if Kelsey fellows pursued careers in psychiatry and neuroscience, that’s not his primary goal. “I hope that the McLean experience provides the fellows valued insights for any career and life path, and an ever-greater appreciation for the compelling need to advance the field of mental health.”
Unlike most fellowships, which are for graduate students, this one targets Bates undergraduates who major in neuroscience or related fields such as psychology and biology. Fellows spend the summer doing research at McLean using various techniques to study psychiatric illnesses.
Last year’s fellow, Andrea Boitnott, worked in a lab studying opioid addiction. Boitnott said the experience was invaluable on many levels: she became comfortable with lab techniques; learned from her colleagues about careers in science; and was exposed to other labs’ research, thanks to the collaborative nature of the work. “Everyone was so supportive, eager to teach me, and excited to help me as I move forward,” said Boitnott, who is now employed as a lab technician at Mt. Sinai Hospital studying autism.
This summer’s intern, Kasey Anderson, worked in the lab of McLean researcher Elena Chartoff, PhD, studying how social stress effects the immune system. She arrived in June and settled seamlessly into the lab community. “I learned so much,” said Anderson. “I’m so grateful to Mr. Barlow and to McLean for this incredible opportunity.”