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Four Drake students awarded Iowa Space Grant scholarships

Four Drake University students have been awarded the prestigious NASA sponsored scholarship through the Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Allison Golbach, Amanda Hoerres, and Michael Ohman, all of whom are 2019 Pharm.D. candidates, and Carter McCall, a junior mathematics and computer science major, received the $7,000 scholarship, which supports STEM-related research.

Golbach’s research will focus on the effects of a chemotherapy agent on various cancer cells. She will determine how the chemotherapy drug damages DNA and affects DNA expression.

Hoerres will focus on DNA damage in relation to cancers; specifically, she will study certain proteins and the effect they have on her DNA samples.

Ohman, who also received an ISGC grant last year, will research DNA damage that can cause diseases such as cancers. In a controlled environment, he will introduce damage to DNA to cell cultures and looking for possible changes.

McCall will research how to apply Kolmogorov complexity to aide in the search for better error-correcting codes, which detect and correct data that has been lost or changed in a “noisy channel.”

A part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program since 1990, the ISGC continually strives to improve and inspire Iowa’s future in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The ISGC supports aerospace research, education, and outreach activities for all Iowans through five program categories: internships, fellowships, scholarships; higher education; research infrastructure; precollege; and informal education.

The ISGC carries out its goals with the help of six universities across the state of Iowa, including Drake University, Iowa State University, University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a number of private industry, educational and government organizations, and science museums.