Ramesh Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Kaitlyn Ramesh, E’25, bioengineering, received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, one of the nation’s most prestigious, merit-based awards for undergraduate students who plan to pursue research careers in natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. She aspires to pursue a PhD in computational biology.

As a third-year student, Kaitlyn Ramesh aspires to earn a Ph.D. in computational biology to investigate the gene regulatory mechanisms underlying tissue regeneration. Through developing computational tools and examining genomics data, she hopes to advance the field of precision medicine and expand treatment options in healthcare. Ramesh was introduced to computational biology in her first year when she joined the lab of Mingyang Lu, assistant professor of bioengineering. She developed a bioinformatics algorithm that analyzes single-cell gene expression data to infer the kinetics of gene expression changes that drive macroscale biological processes, such as wound healing.  Her work on the algorithm was funded by the PEAK Ascent Award and AJC Merit Research Scholarship. To further explore quantitative biology, Ramesh completed an Research Experience for Undergraduates at Harvard University, where she joined the Prigozhin Lab to build a novel microfluidic device that captures ultrafast intracellular processes and provides insight into drug response. In addition to her independent research endeavors, Ramesh has collaborated with her peers  in the College of Engineering to build an injury-prevention EMG sleeve. Ramesh also enjoys mentoring students through the Women’s Research Engagement Network (WREN) and is a member of No Limits Dance Crew.

This article originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Cyrus Moulton. Main photo: Kaitlyn Ramesh, who received a Goldwater Scholarship, poses for a portrait on April 11, 2024. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Northeastern students recognized for excellence in STEM research as Goldwater Scholars

Luke Bagdonas is a chemistry major who researches salt marshes as a nature-based solution to climate change.

Kaitlyn Ramesh is a bioengineering major who develops computational tools and examines genomics data.

Both are third-year students at Northeastern University and recipients of prestigious Goldwater Scholarships.

Goldwater Scholarships recognize ambition and excellence in undergraduate STEM research. Bagdonas and Ramesh were selected from among approximately 5,000 applicants from across the country.

Even though he’s a chemistry major, Bagdonas knew early on that he wanted to focus his studies and research on the environment.

“There are not many environmental science people who like chemistry,” he says. “And there are not many chemists who like environmental science, so I like being right in the middle — where I can take chemistry knowledge and apply it to environmental science or microbiology or ecology and thread that needle to better understand how our planet’s working so that we can better understand how to fix it.”

Bagdonas was first exposed to research on salt marshes during his first co-op in the lab of associate professor Jennifer Bowen. He has focused on the emerging field of metabolomics, which he describes as the study of small organic compounds in living materials called metabolites and their biological pathways.

“By looking at all the metabolites present in some system — whether that be a water sample or a soil sample — you can get an idea of what the organisms in that environment are doing,” Bagdonas explains.

Bagdonas says that the opportunities for full-time undergraduate research at Northeastern has been a major benefit, allowing him to spend time living in and researching a salt marsh in South Carolina and attend and present at a week-long conference in Portland, Oregon.

Read full story at Northeastern Global News

Related Departments:Bioengineering