Edmond Fomunung arrived at UGA with a CURO Apprenticeship in his hand and a dream in his heart. He had come to the United States from Cameroon two years earlier in search of educational opportunities and a better life. He found a home in the Honors Program. Edmond participated in undergraduate research since he arrived on campus, mainly working with Dr. David Peterson in the Department of Infectious Diseases.
Edmond’s passion for research came from personal experience with malaria in his native Cameroon. After two years of doing anti-malarial research at UGA, Edmond interned during the summer with the Department of Medical Parasitology at New York University to conduct further anti-malarial research there.
When Edmond received the Charles Ross Summer Fellowship with the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan, he found his professional calling. The cardiovascular disease research he performed in Michigan stimulated his interest in cardiology/cardiac surgery and there Edmond’s goal to become a cardiothoracic surgeon with a Master’s of Public Health was born. As Edmond puts it, “coming from a place where opportunity is scarce, I deeply appreciate the opportunities the United States offers every child, and I feel an obligation to give back to this society which has already given me so much. There is no better way to repay this debt than to invest my time and knowledge in the fight against cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.”
In 2008, Edmond was been awarded one of twelve nationwide Merage American Dream Fellowships. Edmond was the third Honors student in as many years to receive the two-year $20,000 scholarship for academically outstanding undergraduates who are immigrants to the U.S. Edmond, who was born and raised in Cameroon, will use the Merage Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in pursuit of an MD and a master’s degree in public health.
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