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2017 Goldwater Nominees

February 6, 2017

Congratulations to Drexel's nominees for the 2017 Goldwater Scholarship – Evan Bisirri, Emily Ostrow, Andrew Pellegrino, and John Quinlan.


Evan BisirriEvan Bisirri (Biomedical Engineering, BS/MS, ’18, Honors) is a junior biomedical engineering student concentrating in biomechanics. Evan began his research experience in the Drexel Biomechanics lab as part of the STAR scholars program where he studied age related morphometric changes in normative pediatric thoracic vertebrae under the guidance of Dr. Sriram Balasubramanian and PhD candidate James Peters. This experience inspired Evan to pursue a research co-op at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention where he utilized computational modeling techniques to study occupant kinematics and injury mechanisms in motor vehicle crashes. Evan is currently conducting fluid-structure interaction research with Dr. Amy Throckmorton on a collapsible impeller pump for the Fontan circulation at the Drexel BioCirc lab. Evan plans to pursue a PhD in Biomedical engineering, with focuses in computational modeling and cardiovascular engineering.



Emily OstrowEmily Ostrow (BS/MS Environmental Science ’18, Honors) is a fourth year environmental science student with a concentration in ecology and conservation. Emily started doing research her freshman year through the STAR program working with Jon Wnek, Dane C. Ward, and Walter F. Bien. While in the Laboratory of Pinelands Research, she focused on both diamondback terrapin and northern pine snake conservation research. Emily is currently working in the ornithology department at the Academy of Natural Sciences on her thesis research with Jason D. Weckstein and Nathan H. Rice. She is focusing on detecting the bacteria that causes Lyme disease in wild bird populations in both Pennsylvania and Illinois. This past year she also participated in an international museum collecting trip to Nicaragua. Emily plans on pursuing a PhD with a research focus in ornithology.


Andrew PellegrinoAndrew Pellegrino (BS Physics ’18) is a fourth-year physics student minoring in computer science. Andrew's first research experience at Drexel was through the STAR program under the guidance of Dr. Dave Goldberg, where he created an Android game to teach effects of Einstein's theory of special relativity. This experience led him to pursue a research co-op with Dr. Goral Karapetrov (Condensed Matter Group), which involved creating and studying the optical properties of nanosheets of titanium diselenide. For his second co-op, Andrew helped develop a comprehensive star cluster simulation with stellar feedback under the guidance of Dr. McMillan (Astrophysics Group) and PhD student Joshua Wall. He will be conducting research with Dr. Gordon Richards during Spring/Summer 2017. Andrew plans to pursue a PhD in astrophysics, studying cosmology or star cluster formation with a focus on computation.


John QuinlanJohn Quinlan (BS/MS Biomedical Engineering '19) is a third year biomedical engineering student concentrating in biomaterials and tissue engineering. John's first research experience was as a research assistant in Dr. Hong Wang's lab at Monell Chemical Senses Center, where he remains a part-time research assistant during the academic year, studying expression of bitter taste receptors on immune cells. He was a STAR researcher with Dr. Alessandro Fatatis at the Drexel University College of Medicine, contributing to a project that aimed to develop a therapy for metastatic breast cancer. He spent his first co-op at Janssen Pharmaceuticals analyzing expression of novel fusion genes as potential biomarkers and therapy targets in prostate cancer. He will spend his second co-op at Merck Research Labs working to enhance animal models of Alzheimer's disease. John has had the opportunity to present at a number of undergraduate conferences, including CUR's Posters on the Hill in 2015. John plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering in order to apply a systems-level understanding of disease state to therapy development.

Special thanks to faculty who participated on the Goldwater Campus Committee, working with the Fellowships Office during the fall and winter terms to review applications, conduct interviews, and advise nominees on their applications:

  • Caroline Schauer, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering  
  • Michelle Dolinski, Assistant Professor, Physics
  • Rick McCourt, Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science; Associate Curator of Botany, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

The Goldwater Scholarship was established by Congress in 1986, with the goal of recognizing the nation's top undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

For more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, please email Dr. Meredith Wooten, Director, Drexel Fellowships Office.