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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The 2013 PhD Scholastic Achievement Awards

BMB is excited to announce the recipients of this year’s PhD Scholastic Achievement Awards. Pictured below, Pola Olczak, Yajuan Guo and Nicklas Sapp were awarded this year’s scholastic awards based on their academic achievements, long term goals and desire to be a part of the BMB family. 

2013 PhD Winners

Pola Olczak (Left) is the recipient of the Larry Grossman Ph.D. Scholastic Achievement Award. Pola is an avid student and tennis player from Poland who demonstrated her determination to compete in the academic world by earning both an academic honors scholarship and also a tennis scholarship at Morgan State University. She was on the Chemistry Dean’s list for 8 consecutive semesters and won 1st place in a poster presentation. She has worked on various projects since the beginning of her academic career including the synthesis of anticancer drugs and Alzheimer’s research. Pola is doing her first rotation in Dr. Jiou Wang’s lab researching amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and plans to focus her long-term research goals on the biochemistry of aging.

Yajuan Guo (Center) is the recipient of the John Scocca Ph.D. Scholastic Achievement Award. Yajuan is a competitive student from China who studied at Zhejiang University and graduated with Honors. Yajuan also earned a scholarship and fellowship and made first author on a paper. She has her Bachelors of Science in Biological Science and her Masters of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Yajuan has worked diligently towards her goal of becoming an academic scientist and chose to come to BMB because of the faculty’s research topics, the opportunities for scientific and academic development and the family ‘feel’ of the department. Yajuan is doing her first rotation in Dr. Daniela Drummond-Barbosa’s lab researching Control of ovarian stem cells and their differentiating progeny by diet, insulin, and other systemic signals

Nicklas Sapp (Right) is the recipient of the John Scocca Ph.D. Scholastic Achievement Award. Nicklas is a distinguished student from Hampton, Virginia, graduating as a DNIMAS Scholar from Norfolk State University where he majored in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Nicklas is enjoying the broad spectrum of BMB rather than one particular area of study and research and plans to be influential in the progression of disease and cancer prevention through diet and other means. He chose the PhD Program because of the collaborative opportunities, as well as the family culture and the excellent research conducted by our faculty. Nicklas is doing his first rotation in Dr. Phil Jordan’s lab researching Genome maintenance and meiosis.

Jessica Hopkins (Not pictured) is the recipient of the Sharon Krag Ph.D. Scholastic Achievement Award. Jessica is a North Carolina native who studied biochemistry and molecular biology at UMBC before completing a Masters of Health Science here at School of Public Health. Jessica participated in numerous research opportunities in both programs and graduated Cum Laude from UMBC. Jessica is doing her first rotation in Dr. Scott Bailey's lab where she is assessing several techniques aimed at phasing diffraction data collected from crystals of Cas9, a nuclease playing a key role in CRISPR-mediated genome editing in bacteria.

We commend these students for their academic achievements, extracurricular activities and perseverance. They are an inspiration to everyone at the Johns Hopkins University and beyond!