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Kelly Woodard Memorial Leadership Award Impact Report

Remembering Kelly

Everyone who met Kelly Kahl Woodard knew her dedication to serving others. At Baylor College of Medicine, Kelly was an outstanding student and role model for her peers in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology. She inspired many and continues to do so through the Kelly Woodard Memorial Leadership Award, which has reached its milestone 20th anniversary – a significant accomplishment. For 20 years, Kelly’s legacy has helped Baylor students achieve their dreams of improving healthcare and caring for their communities. 

Your Impact

Graduate student symposium

To honor your daughter’s memory and service to others, you established the Kelly Woodard Memorial Leadership Award in December 2003 with an initial gift of $10,000. This award continues to help trainees realize their dreams of becoming doctors and experts in molecular virology and microbiology. Initially, the endowment supported an annual graduate student award for leadership in research, scholarship and community service, which expanded to postdoctoral trainees in 2014.  

Since its establishment, the award has grown to $89,000 and has supported 18 graduate students and 7 postdoctoral trainees on their medical school journeys and training. These awardees have demonstrated outstanding achievements in scholarship, research and leadership in the biological sciences. They must also show promise for future substantial contributions to research.

Because of You

Kelly’s mentor and administrator of the award, Susan Marriott, Ph.D., along with past award recipients Drs. Ana Maria Cardenas, Christopher Stewart, Tyler Sharp and Kristen Engevik, wanted to share updates on the impact of the endowment with you.  

Graduate Student Recipients

Heather Winter, Ph.D. ’07 
Director, Physician Services, Inova Health System  

Victor Keasler, IV, Ph.D. ’07 
Scientist and Project Manager, SeqWright, Inc.  

Thuy-Ai Nguyen, Ph.D. ’10
Principal Scientist, Shattuck Labs  

Tyler Sharp, Ph.D. ’10
Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  

Rafael Cubas, Ph.D. ’10  
Director, Immunology, Oncology and Cell Therapy Innovation, Takeda  

Sue Crawford, Ph.D. ’13 
Assistant Professor, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine  

Ana Maria Cardenas, Ph.D. ’12 
Senior Director, Global Medical Affairs – Integrated Diagnostic Solutions, BD  

Erin Honsa, Ph.D. ’12 
Assistant Professor, Biology, Rhodes College

Christopher Nobles, Ph.D. ’14
Associate Director, Computational Biology and Multi-Cancer Early Detection, Exact Sciences  

Lisa Atkins Matz, Ph.D. ’17 
Postdoctoral Research Associate, The University of Texas Medical Branch  

Mary Girard Evangelista, Ph.D. ’16
Flow Cytometry Account Manager, Sysmex America, Inc.  

Austen Terwilliger, Ph.D. ’17
Director of Operations, TAILOR, Baylor College of Medicine  

Anisha Misra, Ph.D. ’18
Medical Director, Mycology and Parasitology, Cleveland Clinic  

Anubama Rajan, Ph.D. ’19
Postdoctoral Associate, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine  

Jennifer Clinton, Ph.D. ’20  
Postdoctoral Associate, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine  

Miranda Lewis  
Ph.D. Student, Baylor College of Medicine  

Vicki Mercado  
M.D./Ph.D. Student, Baylor College of Medicine  

J. Thomas Gebert 
McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholar, Baylor College of Medicine

Postdoctoral Trainee Recipients

Sasirekha Ramani, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Training, Baylor College of Medicine 
Assistant Professor, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine  

Christopher Stewart, Ph.D.  
Postdoctoral Training, Baylor College of Medicine 
Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow and Lister Institute Prize Fellow, Newcastle University  

Nina Poole-Scott, Ph.D.  
Postdoctoral Training, Baylor College of Medicine 
Medical Laboratory Scientist and Microbiologist, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center  

Heather Danhof, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Training, Baylor College of Medicine 
Assistant Professor, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine

Adrien Assie, Ph.D. 
Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine

Victoria Tenge, Ph.D.  
Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine

Kristen Engevik, Ph.D.  
Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine 

With Gratitude

We are fortunate to have friends like you in the Baylor community who continue to support our trainees year after year. Having given nearly $70,000 to the endowment over the years in memory of your daughter, you have helped many physician-scientists early on in their careers. Today, they are all making significant contributions throughout the country and around the world to improve health. Thank you for your investment in these remarkably talented trainees.