Two Grad Students Earn Prestigious NSF Fellowships

April 14, 2015

UC Merced graduate students Theo Crouch II and Lauren Edwards recently were awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

QSB Student Theo Crouch II

Each year, these programs invest in a highly select set of students who have demonstrated the potential for meaningful achievements in their field,” said Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Marjorie Zatz. “I am absolutely delighted that our students are being recognized as some of the nation’s most promising future scientists and engineers.”

The NSF GRFP honors and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. 

Crouch and Edwards — both members of Professor Fabian Filipp’s Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism group — will each receive $34,000 per year for three years, while the university receives $12,000 in institutional support for each of the three years. This year, there were 16,500 applicants to the program — 2,000 fellowships were awarded, and 2,004 honorable mentions were acknowledged.

Crouch is in the second year of his doctoral program. In one of his key projects, he is investigating alternative approaches to cell or tissue health and growth using biological experiments and computational techniques.

QSB student Lauren Edwards

Edwards, a first-year student, is studying metabolic switches in humans to better understand how metabolism is controlled through a cell. If she can identify particular genes that have an effect on metabolism when they are turned on or off, she may be able to use that knowledge for a variety of applications, including the treatment of cancer patients.

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