John Mark Gubatan Named Goldwater Scholar

The Department of Biological Sciences wishes to congratulate John Mark Gubatan (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a double minor in French and Spanish) for being name one of three Michigan Technological University students as a Goldwater Scholar

Goldwater scholarships–established by Congress to honor the late Senator Barry M. Goldwater–are based on academic merit, research experience and an intent to pursue a career in science, engineering or mathematics. Colleges and universities nominate students for the scholarships, which cover up to $7,500 in tuition and fees.

“The Goldwater is one of the more prestigious scholarships you can win as an undergraduate in science, engineering or math,” said Will Cantrell, associate professor of physics and Michigan Tech faculty representative for the program. “It is highly competitive.”

With his eye on a career as a physician-scientist, Gubatan has already conducted cutting-edge research at some of the nation’s premier research institutions. As a Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP) student at Harvard Medical School last summer, he investigated the role of bone-regulatory cells in supporting blood-forming stem cells. The previous summer, he worked in the Summer Medical and Research Training (SMART) program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he characterized the immune response to a novel vaccine with Toll-like receptor ligands, which are microbial proteins that activate the innate immune system. He spent the 2006-07 academic year working in research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health under the University of Guam’s Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE). Recently he was named a 2009 Amgen Scholar and will be conducting stem cell research this summer under the scholarship at Stanford University School of Medicine.

A native of Guam, Gubatan is also the recipient of the Michigan Tech National Achievement Scholarship, the Dave S. Adams Scholarship and the Ted Rozsa Scholarship. He aspires to become a leader in the field of stem cell biology and develop adult stem cell-based therapies to combat cancer and degenerative diseases.

“I attribute my success to the guidance of my many amazing research mentors across the nation,” he says. “They all have been instrumental in providing me with challenging research projects that have fostered my ability to think critically and creatively.”

Adapted from Tech Today article by Jennifer Donovan

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