MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Ph.D. student Matthew Robson was recently awarded a fellowship opportunity to further develop his leadership skills and advocacy efforts.
Robson is one of 13 fellows nationwide selected for the inaugural American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Washington Fellowship Program. ASPET is a scientific society, located in Bethesda, Md., that deals with basic and clinical pharmacological research. The fellowship is awarded to any graduate students, postdoctoral trainees or researchers — no more than four years past the completion of their postdoctoral training — that have a strong interest in science and its connection with public policy.
ASPET will be training Robson and other fellows to advocate for biomedical research and increased funding for the National Institutes of Health on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as well as in their local areas. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend the ASPET Annual Meeting to discuss their experiences.
Robson says the importance of biomedical research funding and lack of scientists to advocate for it is what interested him in applying for the fellowship.
“I think graduate students tend to forget that a lot of their research areas get a significant amount of money from government sources or tax payers,” Robson said. “There is no one better to advocate for this funding than scientists, as long as they learn how to advocate effectively.”
Rae R. Matsumoto, Ph.D., associate dean for research and graduate programs in the WVU School of Pharmacy, believes Robson is an excellent fit for the program.
“What distinguishes Matt from his peers is the range and depth of his skills,” Matsumoto said. “Matt is an exceptionally motivated, highly productive researcher with outstanding technical skills, a strong work ethic and demonstrated leadership abilities.”

Robson, a native of Waterloo, N.Y., will be completing his research, which focuses on the treatment of depression and drug abuse, and earning his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences in the spring of 2013.
Robson says he is honored to be selected for the chance to represent the university and the School of Pharmacy.
“Many people outside of Morgantown may not realize the research that takes place here at the WVU Health Sciences Center,” Robson said. “I am honored to be selected amongst the other 12 fellows from extremely prestigious universities and am excited to represent WVU along the way.”

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192