Auburn University junior to study in Germany this summer as undergraduate research fellow

Published: April 06, 2015
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – An Auburn University College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts junior has been selected for the prestigious German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering, DAAD-RISE, summer research fellowship.

Katherine Windham, a junior from Eldersburg, Maryland, with a double major in chemical engineering and German, is one of 300 students selected from more than 2,000 applications nationwide to conduct undergraduate research in Germany under the program.

The RISE fellowship provides students in the fields of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and physics the chance to spend a summer working with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany.

As a RISE Fellow, Windham will spend the summer working in the lab of Maximilian Kohns at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern running experiments in the field of molecular simulation regarding aqueous and organic electrolyte solutions: salts dissolved in water or methanol or ethanol.

In addition to conducting undergraduate research, Windham will have the opportunity to participate in an intensive German language course as well as a scholars' conference in Heidelberg in early July.

For the past year, Windham has conducted research under the direction of Jacek Wower, a professor of biochemistry in the Department of Animal Sciences. Windham's research, "Avidity-Driven Targeting of a Novel Biohybrid Nanoscale Programmable Carrier Engineered for High Therapeutic Payload and Extended Release of Anticancer Drugs," examines the programming of drug-loaded gold nanoparticles with aptamers to specifically recognize and bind to small cell lung cancer cells.

"This scholarship allows me the opportunity to advance my studies in the pursuit of conducting research in biomedical engineering," Windham said. "With the additional experience and research possibilities granted to me by this, I wish to develop new technologies, processes, and products in hopes of improving and possibly saving lives. I am thankful to my faculty members and the Honors College for their continued support and guidance."