SU’s Taylor named 2007 Goldwater Scholar
SU’s Taylor named 2007 Goldwater ScholarApril 11, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
David Taylor Jr. of Camp Hill, Pa., a junior biochemistry major in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, has been named by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation as a 2007 Goldwater Scholar.
Taylor is one of 317 Goldwater Scholars selected for 2007 on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,110 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The one-year scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Taylor is a member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, the Golden Key International Honor Society and Who’s Who Among American College and University Students. He has made the dean’s list every semester in his academic career at SU and was recently invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, one of the oldest and most prestigious honor societies in the country. He is currently a member of the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta, for which he serves as chapter treasurer. Taylor plans to attend graduate school to study biological chemistry, with the goal of becoming a university professor and conducting research in the field of protein folding.
“It feels great to be honored as a Goldwater Scholar,” says Taylor. “I have worked really hard on doing well in course work and invested large amounts of time and effort in my research endeavors. It is really nice to be acknowledged with this award. This award is also a testament to the strength of the faculty of the chemistry and biology departments here at Syracuse University. I have learned so much from some brilliant professors — in particular, my research advisor and mentor, Dr. Hudson, and Michelle Ferguson, the graduate student who trained me in lab techniques.”
Taylor is doing research under the direction of Bruce Hudson, professor of chemistry, working on a project that involves the binding of nucleic acids to proteins using fluorescence methods. Specifically, he has studied the interaction between RNA and DNA stem loop aptamers and their binding kinetics with the mature HIV nucleocapsid domain NCp7. The goal is to find a tight binding sequence that would inhibit the virus from packaging itself and budding from an infected host cell to infect normal, healthy immune system cells. Methods have included fluorescence anisotropy, tryptophan quenching, and FRET or fluorescence resonance energy transfer between donor and acceptor species. These studies are part of a larger project aimed at the development of sensing methods and high throughput drug screening methods.
“This is a highly prestigious award that recognizes the outstanding scholarship of one of our brightest young scientists,” says James T. Spencer, professor of chemistry and faculty representative to the Goldwater Scholarship program. “We are very proud of David’s accomplishments in both the laboratory and classroom. His dedication, perseverance and achievements will clearly serve as an inspiration for future generations of our science and engineering students.”
Adds Cathryn R. Newton, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences: “This remarkable young scholar has accomplished so much in his time here at Syracuse. We congratulate him warmly, wish him every success — and hope that he returns often to connect with Syracuse students!”
Congress established the Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1986 to honor U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the Senate. 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.