April 7, 2021 By Doug Erickson
Three University of Wisconsin–Madison students have been named 2021 winners of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, considered the country’s preeminent undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
UW–Madison’s winners are Manasa Kalluri, Qianyun (Lexi) Luo and Gage Siebert. All three are juniors. Each will receive up to $7,500 for their senior year of undergraduate study.
More than 1,250 students were nominated this year from 438 academic institutions; 410 were named Goldwater Scholars.
The scholarship program honors the late Sen. Barry Goldwater and was designed to develop highly qualified scientists, engineers and mathematicians. The scholarships were first awarded in 1989.
Manasa Kalluri, of Madison, Wisconsin, is majoring in neurobiology and psychology, with a certificate in global health. She began her research career as a rising high school junior, spending the subsequent summers leading up to college as an intern in the lab of Dr. Lee Eckhardt in the UW–Madison Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Arrhythmia Research Program. As an undergraduate, Kalluri has continued research in the Eckhardt lab and is primarily responsible for investigating an inherited arrhythmia syndrome using a patient-specific stem cell model. She will be the lead author on a manuscript with clinical collaborators that is currently under preparation. She plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in neuro-oncology.
Qianyun (Lexi) Luo, of Bloomington, Illinois, is majoring in biochemistry and statistics. Beginning her freshman year, she has conducted research on human oncology under Dr. Randall Kimple at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Her primary project focuses on studying how metabolic inhibitors can potentially be radiosensitizers in treating cancer. Luo also is in a trainee program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she conducts research in immunology under Dr. Alexandre Reuben. Luo plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in cancer biology and conduct translational research in the field of oncology to improve cancer treatment.
Gage Siebert, of Fremont, Wisconsin, is majoring in physics and mathematics. As a freshman, he studied the origins of life in Professor David Baum’s lab at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Siebert then interned at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, studying the radio emission from several of the millisecond pulsars used in the search for gravitational waves. He later presented this work at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. For the past two years, Siebert has worked in Professor Peter Timbie’s observational cosmology lab on the Tianlai Array, a radio astronomy experiment built to map hydrogen. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics.
A full list of past UW–Madison Goldwater Scholars can be found here.