Amazing Students Profiles

Charles (Ty) Tuggle

Charles (Ty) Tuggle

Charles (Ty) Tuggle is a renaissance man. In his time at UGA, he has studied Gypsy culture in Hungary and Romania, language in Japan, and in Athens, Georgia, he works in the lab of professor Michael Pierce making advances in the fight against cancer. He enjoys reading science fiction and Southern gothic literature, and he likes drinking coffee at Jittery Joe’s in Five Points. He is a Foundation Fellow and a member of the new UGA triathlon club on campus. He would love to be able to spend some more time in college, but after he graduates this semester he plans to go back to Japan for a year to learn more about the Japanese language before he heads off to medical school.


Memphis, Tennessee

High School:

Christian Brothers High School

Degree objective:

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Japanese

Expected graduation:

May 2005

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

A couple of my favorite experiences include having spent one summer studying Japanese language and culture in Hakodate, Japan, and a Maymester in Hungary and Romania to study Gypsy culture with Dezso Benedek. I am in my third semester working under Michael Pierce and Gerardo Alvarez-Manilla in the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC). I have also enjoyed serving as treasurer and vice president of the Dean William Tate Honor Society and working as a coordinator for Dawg Camp.

Current Employment:

I am in my third semester working at the CCRC in Michael Pierce’s laboratory. The work in Dr. Pierce’s laboratory deals with how certain cell-surface carbohydrates affect receptor function during tumor progression.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…of the research opportunities available to undergraduates and the availability of the biochemistry major.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…to swim and work out at the Ramsey Center, ride my bicycle around campus, and read on North Campus.

When I have free time, I like…

…to read anything from science fiction to Southern gothic; to exercise—running, biking, or swimming; to practice ballroom and salsa dancing; to practice kanji; and to hang out in a coffee shop like Jittery Joe’s at Five Points.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

Before beginning my home stay and language program in Japan, I traveled in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara alone. At the time my ability to speak Japanese was almost nonexistent, but with the aid of some very helpful Japanese people I avoided being stranded, starved, or stuck without lodging. These are some things I was apprehensive about while traveling.

My favorite place to study is…

…the Science Library or the laboratory where it is quiet.

My favorite professor is…

…Michael Pierce. He takes a genuine interest in his students by constantly checking on their progress in the laboratory, by hosting dinners and group meetings for his undergraduate mentees, and by keeping his office door open at all times just in case a student needs some advice. He is a professor who takes an active interest in his students and their successes.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…my family. Many of my best memories are with my family, such as, dancing around the living room with my mom to popular 80’s music (a long time ago), telling jokes around the dinner table, and finding clever ways to get out of having to do the dishes. I will always take the opportunity to make some more memories with my good-humored mom, stern but caring dad, talented younger sister, and video game-addicted brother.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

…spend a few more years in college. I would like to take a few more dance, math, and religion classes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the university and know I will miss it when it is time to move on.

After graduation, I plan to…

…go to Japan to continue my study of Japanese for a year and then return for medical school.