2023 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees
Siddharth Simon, E’24, and Madeline Szoo, E’25, were nominated for the 2023 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.
Siddarth Simon Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Mentors: Mark Richardson, Lisa Gfrerer, Leonard Knoedler
Home State: Massachusetts
Siddharth Simon is an aspiring MD/PhD, who hopes to make medical research more powerful through the use of data science. Arriving at Northeastern, Siddharth was eager to make an impact in the lives of others through research and joined the Brain Stimulation and Simulation Lab of Dr. Sumientra Rampersad. In this work, for which he earned a PEAK Experiences Ascent Award in the fall of 2020, Siddarth explored artificial intelligence, electricity, and magnetism in physics and neuroscience by studying the effects of head model precision on electric field simulation for non-invasive neurostimulation. Building from this experience, he joined the Brain Modulation Lab directed by Dr. Mark Richardson at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, improving, documenting, and presenting upon a data pipeline for an implantable neuromodulation device that was designed to treat patients with epilepsy. Fascinated by this work, Sid has continued work in this area, most recently working with Dr. Lisa Gferer Assistant Professor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine to develop artificial intelligence as a diagnostic tool for headache disorders. Siddarth is the lead machine learning engineer and co-lead of software development on the project and his work has focused on optimizing a machine learning algorithm for the diagnostic mobile application for migraines on a multi-center study and transitioning the mobile application to a new platform. In his current research co-op, Siddharth will serve as an automation engineer at Generate Biomedicines, working on software to integrate machine learning data on the cloud with lab robotics systems to accelerate drug development. Outside of research, Siddarth serves as a first responder EMT and volunteers as a tutor for incarcerated youth through the Petey Greene Program.
Madeline Szoo Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry
Mentors: Debra Auguste, Adam Hartigan, Rachelle Reisberg
Home State: Texas
Madeline Szoo joined us at Northeastern University with a love of STEM and a drive to cure the triple-negative breast cancer that had recently impacted a family member. Since then, she has pursued a course of study and research in preparation for earning a PhD in chemical engineering and a career making an impact in oncological nanomedicine. Madeline’s research career began remotely during COVID when she joined Sigma Xi, an undergraduate club dedicated to introducing undergraduates to scientific research. As a member of Sigma Xi, Madeline produced a systematic review of the relevant research about the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer by measles oncolytic virotherapy; this work was recognized as the best literature review poster prize by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Once on campus, Madeline began conducting related work in the Bioresponsive Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering Laboratory of Professor Debra Auguste, earning a PEAK Experiences Base Camp award to explore metastasis prevention in breast cancer using CXC Chemokine Receptor Type 4 (CXCR4) antagonists. Building on this project, Madeline next investigated the toxicity of two anti-cancer drugs in combination for the treatment of chemotherapy-resistant triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) through an Honors Early Research Award, again with Professor Auguste. Demonstrating deep commitment to this constellation of research questions, Madeline next performed an in vitro study to determine if istradefylline (KW6002) would be a viable candidate for encapsulation in a liposomal drug delivery system to reduce tumor burden in TNBC through a PEAK Experiences Ascent award. Through research on co-op at Beam Therapeutics, Madeline has added another bow in her anti-cancer quiver. At Beam, Madeline worked on a team developing an investigational therapy designed to correct disease-causing genetic mutations associated with sickle cell disease, work that has enabled her to deepen her understanding of in vitro cancer models and disease pathways. Her first publication from this research is forthcoming. In addition to laboratory research, Madeline has worked with Assistant Dean Rachelle Reisberg on studies of the long-term academic success of first-year engineering students. Aside from the many research experiences, Madeline serves as part of the Executive Board for Sigma Xi, Advocacy Chair for Relay for Life Event Leadership Team as part of the American Cancer Society, and is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers.