ARCS Foundation Fellowships support seven UGA graduate students

ARCS Foundation Fellowships support seven UGA graduate students

Athens, Ga. – The Atlanta chapter of the ARCS Foundation, Inc. (Achievement Rewards for College Students) awarded $42,000 to seven outstanding American doctoral students in the biomedical and health sciences at the University of Georgia, four of whom are receiving the funding for the first year. The presentations were made at an awards ceremony, on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta.

The gala event featured keynote speaker was noted physiological psychologist Donald Stein, Asa G. Candler Professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

The ARCS Foundation was founded in Los Angeles in 1958 and is dedicated to helping meet the country’s needs for scientists and engineers by providing scholarships to academically outstanding university students. UGA recipients of the award are selected by the UGA Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute. This year’s ARCS Scholars represent the UGA departments of cellular biology, foods and nutrition, genetics, microbiology, neuroscience, and pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

The following students are UGA ARCS Foundation Scholars for 2008-09.

  • Jillian Hurst of Springfield, Va., is pursing a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. Her research focuses on how regulation of cellular signaling pathways contributes to the progression of ovarian cancer.
  • Carly Jordan of Houston, Texas, is pursing her Ph.D. in cellular biology. She is examining the apicoplast, a unique and essential organelle in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which may serve as a target for potential drug therapies.
  • Jodell Linder of Chula Vista, Calif., is pursing her doctoral degree in genetics and is studying the effect of temperature on immune function in insects. Advances in this field are critical for the control of vector-borne diseases and agricultural pests.
  • Meagan McManus of Albany, Ga., is pursing her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. Meagan’s research is currently evaluating the use of mitochondrially-targeted antioxidants as a potential therapeutic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Meghan Mitchell of Pepperell, Mass., is a Ph.D. candidate in the clinical psychology program in the Psychology Department. She is currently exploring the use of biomarkers as a means of predicting the disease status and severity of older adults with the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dawn Penn of Waterford, Pa., is pursuing a Ph.D. in foods and nutrition. Her research focuses on characterizing the relationship of chronic conditions, physical activity and food insecurity to obesity in order to better target nutrition and health care services for a growing population of obese older adults.
  • Todd Smith of Lucasville, Ohio, is pursing his doctoral degree in microbiology. His work focuses on gene regulation to prevent infection by Helicobacter pylori, a widespread human pathogen that causes peptic ulcers as well as other severe diseases of the stomach.

The Atlanta chapter of the ARCS Foundation has awarded close to $2 million in scholarships to students at the University of Georgia, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse College. Additional information about the foundation can be found on the Web at www.arcsfoundation.org.