Graduate student Omair Khan awarded Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Omair Khan with list of 2023 Soros Fellows printed in the New York Times

May 1, 2023

Omair Khan, an MD/PhD student in the SCBRM graduate program working in the lab of Dr. Irving Weissman, MD, has been honored with a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Khan is one of 30 graduate students honored from a pool of over 2,000 applicants for his sustained achievements and potential to make significant contributions in his field of study and to the United States at large. The two year fellowship provides immigrants and children of immigrants up to $90,000 in funding to support their graduate studies. 

"I am extremely grateful to the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans for their incredible support and belief in me, my goals, and future aspirations,” Khan said.  “I look forward to joining a community of like-minded peers from across the nation to continue making long-lasting and impactful change to advance the human condition." 

Khan’s parents immigrated to the United States from India in search of better educational opportunities. Born in Louisiana, Khan grew up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward before 2005’s hurricane Katrina devastated his home,  forcing his family to move around for months before settling in Chicago, Illinois. 

After his father’s diagnosis with a brain tumor, Khan became more interested in pursuing opportunities in medical science. Khan studied at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), and was able to work in the laboratory of Professor Mashkoor Choudhry at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine, publishing his first scientific papers in high school. 

Khan then attended Yale University, where he studied molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and global health studies. His undergraduate research in the laboratory of Professor Richard Flavell resulted in authorship on two scientific papers published in Nature.

Khan’s diverse work experience in a biotechnology startup, as a healthcare policy intern at the United States Senate, and while performing global health field work in one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Bangladesh taught him the importance of collaboration between interdisciplinary actors across academia, industry, policy, and international partners to effectively and efficiently deliver world-class healthcare to everyone who needs it. Khan now works as a Senior Fellow at ARTIS Ventures and is the inaugural Jim Valentine TechBio Fellow at the Institute for Education (IFE), a DC-based non-profit organization committed to engaging the global community to harness the power of data, innovation, and soft diplomacy.

Since the founding of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans 25 years ago, the program has provided over $80 million in funding to 775 ellows. Last year, SCBRM student Quenton Bubb, MD, PhD was named a Soros Fellow. In 2019, Shamik Mascharak, MD, PhD from the Longaker lab was named a Fellow. In 2008, Agnieszka Czechowicz, MD, PhD, now an assistant professor at Stanford and member of the institute, was named a Fellow.

Learn more about the fellowship here and about Omair here.