Upcoming Informational Webinars:
Monday, Oct. 11, 2021 - 12 pm EDT
Presented by Damani Arnold Piggott, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Diversity and Partnerships - Click to register
Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021 - 5 pm EDT - Click to register
About the initiative:
The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative (VTSI) is a $150 million initiative, backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, dedicated to nurturing, mentoring and connecting exceptional diverse talent at historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions to STEM graduate education and future leadership in STEM.
This year’s application deadline is Dec. 1st. To learn more about the eligible PhD programs, click here.
Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Vivien Thomas
The PhD students recruited through this program will be known as the Vivien Thomas Scholars, in recognition of one of Johns Hopkins University’s most celebrated figures. Dr. Thomas (1910–1985) was a renowned Black scientist who is best known for his work to develop a cardiac surgery technique to treat “blue baby syndrome” (Blalock-Taussig shunt) at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1940s—a life-saving advance for which he did not receive credit for decades.
Dr. Thomas, who grew up in the Jim Crow South, enrolled as a premedical student at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial College, an HBCU in Nashville, but was forced to drop out due to the Great Depression and was never able to enroll in medical school. Despite his lack of an advanced degree, Dr. Thomas spent his career as a pioneering research and surgical assistant.
In 1976 Dr. Thomas was awarded an honorary doctorate by Johns Hopkins University and named instructor of surgery in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Portrait of Vivien T. Thomas by Bob Gee, Oil on Canvas, 1969