Global Genes Announces Winners of the David R. Cox Prize for Rare Compassion

November 3, 2016

New York University School of Medicine Student Wins Top Honors

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — November 3, 2016 — Global Genes is proud to partner with Students Advocates for Neglected Diseases (STAND) to present the third David R. Cox Prize for Rare Compassion, an essay program that connects medical students with the rare patient community. This year’s program and essay submissions spotlighted 33 different diseases from 129 medical students who requested to be matched with a family, representing 54 medical schools. Global Genes would like to congratulate the three prizewinners Brit Trogen, Nancy Shenoi, and Brielle Gerry for their participation and amazing work.

Brit Trogen is in her second year at New York University School of Medicine and earned the grand prize with her essay The Strength in Small exploring Nemaline Nermaline disease. “I certainly had never heard of Nemaline Myopathy (NM) before meeting my family. I think extra-curricular programs like this one are fantastic. They fill a very important gap,” commented Trogen. Her medical interest lies in pediatrics and she plans to stay in touch with her matched family.

A panel comprised of Global Genes Medical and Scientific Advisory Board members and patient advocacy leaders evaluated the submissions on extent of the content, compassion, novelty, and insight to determine the winners. The three winning submissions received cash prizes of $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.

Global Genes would like to congratulate the following 2016 David R. Cox Prize honorees:

1st Place

Brit Trogen

New York University School of Medicine

“The Strength in Small Numbers”

Nemaline myopathy

2nd Place

Nancy Shenoi

Baylor College of Medicine

“Finding Meaning in Medicine: The Power of Hope and Resilience”

Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 15/29

3rd Place

Brielle Gerry

University of Virginia School of Medicine

“Taking It Day by Day: Melissa’s Story”

Trisomy 18

About The Prize

David R. Cox, MD, PhD was an extraordinary physician scientist, becoming Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at UCSF and later Stanford, as well as shepherding development of genomic medicine at Pfizer. In addition to his participation in the Human Genome Project and service on numerous national advisory boards, Dr. Cox showed uncommon compassion in his involvement with advocates for rare diseases. He was especially helpful to the A-T Children’s Project, an organization aiming to cure a rare and debilitating genetic disorder, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). For more information, please visit

About Stand

Student Advocates for Neglected Diseases (STAND)
is a student organization inspiring future clinicians
to care about disease communities often neglected by the healthcare system. Engaging medical schools across the country, STAND connects students with neglected patient groups. Colton Margus, a medical student whose two brothers have a rare neurodegenerative disease, started STAND. For more information on STAND or to get involved, email [email protected].

About Global Genes – Allies in Rare Disease

Global Genes is a leading global rare disease patient advocacy organization. The mission is to eliminate the challenges of rare disease, by providing patients with educational tools, building awareness, providing critical connections and support to people and resources, and through investment in technologies that will positively impact affected patients and families. Recognized worldwide by the Blue Denim Genes Ribbon™, Global Genes unites experts, advocates and patients of all ages to stand together in hope for treatments and cures for the estimated 7,000 rare and genetic diseases that impact approximately 30 million Americans and over 350 million people worldwide.



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