LAWRENCE — University of Kansas students Anton Barybin, of Lawrence, and Emily Hughes, of Leawood, have been selected for the Beckman Scholars Program, which supports research by exceptional undergraduates who seek to become leaders in the science field. Since 2015, KU has chosen two students for this annual honor, which is funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.
Each scholar receives an $18,200 stipend along with funds for travel and supplies, while an additional $5,000 stipend is awarded to the scholar’s faculty research mentor. Scholars are expected to perform at least 10 hours per week of research during summer 2020 and 2021 as well as 10 hours per week during the intervening academic year. They will present their results at the Beckman Symposium in August 2021 and at the KU Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium. Click here to learn more about the program.
More about the winners:
Anton Barybin, of Lawrence, attended Lawrence Free State High School. He is majoring in chemistry with a concentration in biological chemistry. Barybin developed a passion for neurochemical research after discovering current methods of neurodegenerative disease treatment. His work focuses on the development of separation-based sensors for continuous in vivo monitoring of neurotransmitters. Ultimately, these sensors will yield a more comprehensive understanding of disease states while also providing a method for analyzing the effects of potential therapeutic drugs. After graduation, Barybin plans to pursue a combined doctoral-medical degree or a doctorate with a focus in neurochemistry. His mentor, Susan Lunte, is the Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Pharmaceutical Chemistry and the director of the KU Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry.
Emily Hughes, of Leawood, attended Blue Valley North High School. She is majoring in microbiology with a minor in Spanish. Hughes’ inspiration to pursue research was driven by her passion for understanding more about infectious diseases. She began her undergraduate research on understanding basic chlamydial biology and pathogenesis. Her project involves using CRISPRi to perform conditional gene knockouts in chlamydia. This system allows for controlled repression of a gene product and analysis of biological processes. Emily aspires to study infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control in the future. She is mentored by P. Scott Hefty, professor and director of undergraduate studies in KU’s Department of Molecular Biosciences.