Funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), USD G-RISE is committed to supporting students in STEM fields, particularly those from rural areas and first-generation households, to pursue graduate degrees and transition seamlessly into the biomedical workforce.

Throughout his academic journey at the Sanford School of Medicine, Franzen has contributed significantly to a wide range of research projects, including preclinical investigations on pain and clinical studies on depression biomarkers. He has also presented his research at regional and national conferences, including the South Dakota Academy of Family Physicians and the Physicians of the Future Summit, including several local conferences. Avery has authored two first-author publications, with additional research publications coming soon.

During his time at USD, Franzen received several prestigious grants and scholarships, including American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics (ASENT) Neurotherapeutic Discovery and Development Course Scholarship, Center for Brain and Behavior Research Trainee Grant, Graduate Research and Creative Scholarship Grant, and various medical student research award. Additionally, Franzen has been honored with numerous scholarships, including the Wesley W. Parke Scholarship, Jason Payne Scholarship, Miles Hammer Scholarship, Mary Hanson Scholarship, S. Withee Scholarship, Sanford School of Medicine Development Scholarship, Dr. Lyle J. Hare Scholarship and Faithe Family Scholarship.

Beyond his academic achievements, Franzen has actively assumed leadership roles serving as the president of the Basic Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Organization and the USD American Medical Association. He has also provided guidance and mentorship to junior students interested in pursuing the M.D./Ph.D. pathway and contributed his time as a tutor for medical students and a volunteer at the Servant Hearts Clinic and the Welcome Table.

“As Avery embarks on the next phase of his academic journey, continuing his M.D. studies at USD, we are confident that he will continue to make significant contributions to the field of medicine and scientific research,” said Lisa McFadden, Ph.D., associate professor of basic biomedical sciences and member of the G-RISE Center administrative team. “His unwavering dedication, exemplary leadership, and commitment to community service serve as an inspiration to his peers and future generations of aspiring scholars.”

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