A third-year University of Utah medical student has been named by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to spend a year researching how brain cells can be remyelinated after injury or disease. Ninel Z. Litovsky will take a year off from medical school to complete one of the institute's prestigious research training fellowships.

She will receive a $15,000 stipend to fund the research. Her work could lead to better treatments for multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, encephalitis and neurological damage associated with the treatment of childhood cancer. She is one of only 58 medical students selected nationally to participate in the program.Her research mentor for this project is Mark Noble, professor of oncological sciences at the U. and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.