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Three Johns Hopkins Students Receive Prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

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April 16, 2013
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Three undergraduate researchers at The Johns Hopkins University are among the 271 students recently awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year. The one- and two-year funding the three Johns Hopkins students receive will help further their investigations in molecular dynamics, the biomedical science of disease, and developing a computational tool to help surgeons treat epilepsy.

The merit-based scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The Goldwater Foundation, which grants the scholarships, is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The program honoring the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The foundation has awarded 6,550 scholarships worth approximately $40 million since the first awards were given out in 1989.

The three Johns Hopkins Goldwater Scholars are:

Stephen Filippone is a junior majoring in materials science and engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering. Filippone’s Goldwater funding will support his research project performing molecular dynamics simulations on polymer (amorphous) systems to investigate void growth morphology in the lab of Michael Falk, an associate professor of materials science and engineering. Polymers have applications in every technology from medicine to electronics. By better understanding the physics of their deformation we can control their properties and make better devices. Filippone’s past research projects include summers at Vanderbilt and Northwestern universities, studying ways to increase the flexural strength of cement to reduce the amount of reinforcement needed in construction, and studying the performance of graphene capacitors over large-area graphene. He hopes to pursue a doctorate in materials science and engineering. Filippone is from Los Fresnos, Texas.

Peter Kalugin, is a sophomore majoring in both molecular and cellular biology and mathematics in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. His research training in the cell biology of medical problems includes work in labs studying diabetes and polycystic kidney disease. During the 2012-13 academic year, Kalugin has been studying at the University of Oxford through the Hopkins St. Anne’s, Oxford Pre-Med Programs, which allows several sophomores and juniors planning a career in medicine to spend a year abroad at St. Anne’s College. Upon his return to Johns Hopkins in the fall, he will conduct research in the lab of Takanari Inoue, an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the School of Medicine. Kalugin aspires to be a physician-scientist to continue his research in biomedical science. He is originally from Russia, and currently lives in Albuquerque, N.M.

Sandya Subramanian, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and applied math in the Whiting School. Her Goldwater funding will support her research with Sridevi Sarma, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, to design a computational tool to assist clinicians in identifying the epileptogenic zone in patients with medically refractory epilepsy, or epilepsy that doesn’t respond to medication. The team has applied for a provisional patent for the device for use in guiding surgical interventions. Subramanian plans to pursue a doctorate in biomedical engineering, with a focus on computational and analytic methods to solve biomedical problems. She is from Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred seventy-six of the Scholars are men, 95 are women, and most intend to obtain a PhD.


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