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Science Student Earns Goldwater Honorable Mention

Uma Kantheti C’19 is third Drew honoree since 2015.

May 2018 – Drew University’s Uma Kantheti C’19 is among just four students in New Jersey to earn honorable mention this year from the highly competitive Goldwater scholarship for students in science, math and engineering.

“At a bigger school most of these research opportunities are available only for graduate students,” said Kantheti, who’s majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. As an undergrad, she has co-authored an article out for review at a scholarly research journal and is working on project that will lead to another peer-reviewed publication.

Kantheti also challenges herself by seeking out courses, grants and presentations at local and national conferences. Long term, she’d like to teach at a medical school and run a lab that specializes in cancer immunology. To that end, she’s applying to MD and PhD programs at top universities.

Kantheti, who’s minoring in Pan-African studies and public health, was nominated for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation by Associate Professor of Biology Stephen Dunaway. Dunaway described her as an outstanding student who conducts independent scientific research as a Baldwin Honors scholar. Currently, she’s analyzing immune response to viral infections in the lab of Assistant Professor of Biology Brianne Barker.

“She came to my laboratory during her first semester at Drew and expressed an interest in cancer biology. We were able to design a very innovative project,” Barker said. “Uma’s ability to synthesize information, transfer material and ask good questions amazes me every day that we work together.”

The Goldwater program awarded 211 scholarships and 281 honorable mentions from among 1,280 nominees for the 2018-19 school year. Kantheti is the third Drew student to earn honorable mention since 2015; the others were Tyler Dorrity and Saif Yasin.