2020 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees
Bioengineering student Kerry Eller, E’21, and Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry student Julie Na Yoon Kim, E’21, were two of four students nominated for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship by Northeastern University. 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 a career in research. 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.
Major: Bioengineering; minor in Political Science
Hometown: Barrington, RI
Kerry Eller is dedicated to ensuring that those in low-income countries have access not simply to the medical technologies that save and enhance life, but also to the apparatus of development itself. Kerry spent high-school summers developing a cell line that could be used to heal tears in the menisci. After her first year at Northeastern, she worked at Brown University developing novel assay techniques that led to an eightfold increase in her lab’s capacity to image fish larvae in search of chemicals that could repair vision impairments currently affecting 253 million people. She next embarked on a project characterizing musculoskeletal effects of obesity, another rapidly increasing threat to human health. Most recently, Kerry completed a global co-op at the Center for Technology for Research and Development with Social Impact at Chile’s Universidad del Desarrollo. There, she worked to improve both the mechanical function and the diagnostic accuracy of a remote mosquito trap. Kerry’s passion for research with social impact is also a distinguishing feature of her extensive extracurricular involvement in organizations dedicated to global health. Kerry aims to complete a PhD in bioengineering and to pursue a career working with communities around the world to develop culturally appropriate technologies that expand access to healthcare.
Julie Na Yoon Kim
Major: Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry; minor in Computer Science
Hometown: Boston, MA
Julie enrolled at Northeastern as an aspiring pharmacist in the six-year Doctor of Pharmacy program, but her first research experience, in lab of Professor Ban An Khaw, led her to change her major and her career goals. Seeing for the first time the importance of not only developing effective drug therapies, but also of ensuring accurate and targeted delivery mechanisms for those drugs, Julie realized that she wanted to pursue translational drug delivery research. In Professor Khaw’s lab, Julie mainly worked on prodrug-antibody conjugates that perform targeted drug delivery for breast cancer chemotherapies. After completing this project, she worked on antibacterial nanoparticles in Professor Thomas Webster’s nanomedicine lab, earning a PEAK Experiences Summit Award to support the project. In 2019, Julie joined the Center for Nanomedicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a co-op investigating nanoparticle-mediated delivery of tumor suppressor mRNA. Most recently, she accepted a co-op position at the Langer Lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, focusing on nanoparticle-mediated immunotherapy in 2020. Julie plans to pursue an MD/PhD in bioengineering and become a physician-scientist who can improve current chemotherapies through drug delivery technology.