2022 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees
Bioengineering students Amanda Dee, E’23, and Giona Kleinberg, E’23, were nominated for the 2022 Barry Goldwater Scholarship. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based award for outstanding students in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering who are interested in pursuing careers in research. The premier award for undergraduate students in STEM fields, the scholarship was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who showed a keen interest in science and technology during his 30 years in the U.S. Senate.
Amanda Dee COE’23, Bioengineering with a minor in Mathematics
Mentors: Maxim Prigozhin, Carolyn Lee-Parsons, Madelaine Bartlett
Amanda been involved in STEM research for as long as she can remember — starting off in the First Lego League at 8 years old. Eager to learn more, she reached out to a local professor in her hometown of Amherst at 13, an experience that helped her learn multiple molecular biology techniques and more importantly, lit a fire within her to learn all that she could about plant biology. Amanda has been following that flame ever since, conducting research with Professor Madelaine Bartlett throughout high school. Since joining us at Northeastern, Amanda has coupled rigorous coursework in bioengineering and mathematics with sustained, hands-on research in the field. Since her first year at Northeastern, Amanda has worked in the laboratory on Professor Carolyn Lee-Parsons, taking on projects of growing complexity and sophistication as the years have passed. This work has focused on studying transcription factors that regulate the biosynthesis pathway for the Catharanthus roseus, commonly known as the Madagascar Periwinkle. C. roseus produces two powerful anticancer compounds, to vinblastine and vincristine, and the hope is a greater understanding of these pathways will enhance compound production. To support her deep engagement in this work, Amanda has earned one PEAK Ascent Award (Spring 2020) and two PEAK Summit Awards (Fall 2020, Fall 2021). In addition to her work in the Lee-Parsons lab, Amanda was a Analytical Research and Development co-op at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and more recently, completed a research co-op at the Prigozhin Lab at Harvard. Here, she did computational work focused upon the optimization of multicolor electron microscopy, a tool that will allow us to visualize and understand the spatiotemporal organization of cell signaling. In addition to her deep commitment to research, Amanda has made deep impacts on campus as a certified peer tutor, resident assistant, and an active leader in NU Stage Musical Theater Company.
Giona Kleinberg COE’23, Bioengineering/Biochemistry with a minor in Data Science
Mentors: Bernardo Sabatini, Sandra Shefelbine, Ester Comellas
Giona Kleinberg joined us at Northeastern eager to create new knowledge and improve the lives of others — but he wasn’t sure where or how he could make the most impact. Taking full advantage of all that Northeastern has to offer, Giona has found his footing and is eager to pursue the combined MD/PhD degree in Developmental Neurobiology, in order to understand and treat disease. A combined Bioengineering and Biochemistry major with a minor in Data Science, Giona has spent his time at Northeastern developing a robust conceptual framework in his studies, as well as computational skills that are already revolutionizing work in the natural sciences. In order to further develop his knowledge and tools, Giona has sought out opportunities to pursue research in a wide variety of settings. Beginning in his first year, Giona has worked in the lab of Professor Sandra Shefelbine, completing a series of projects focused upon understanding joint morphogenesis and its relation to mechanical stimuli. In each of these projects, Giona has made significant contributions not only to the analysis of data but to the process of analysis itself, creating tools, novel organizational schema, and algorithms that make what were formerly complex, messy and time consuming processes easier, faster, and more intuitive for all involved. One of the systems Giona helped to create has subsequently been adapted through the Northeastern University research apparatus. The nature of the COVID crisis meant that many of Giona’s projects had to be completed remotely but recently, he was able to complete an in-person, wet lab co-op with Bernardo Sabatini at Harvard, investigating metabolic, cortical, and behavioral changes in mice due to excess thyroid hormone in order to better understand mania, bipolar disorder, and decision making. This experience has led him towards the field of study, developmental neurobiology, that he hopes to pursue in his MD/PhD. Outside of research, Giona keeps very busy; he is a certified snowboard instructor, a peer tutor, a medical scribe, and a volunteer crisis text counselor.