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Two Ohio Northern University students selected as Goldwater scholars

Apr 6, 2015

Ohio Northern University student Steven Blake, a fourth-year pharmacy major, has been selected to receive a Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

Michael Potter, a senior earning a dual degree in mechanical engineering and applied physics with minors in exercise physiology and astronomy, has received honorable mention accolades.

This is the 10th year in which ONU students have been recognized by the trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. During this time, 11 ONU students have been selected as Goldwater scholars, and six have received honorable mention.

A native of Ravenna, Ohio, Blake conducted his research into “The Role of TRPM2 Inhibition in Metastatic Breast Cancer Eradication” under the guidance of Dr. David W. Koh, assistant professor of pharmacology at Ohio Northern University. Blake is co-author of “Selective induction of breast adenocarcinoma cell death via inhibition of the transient receptor potential melastatin-2 (TRPM2) cation channel” to be presented this April at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, Pa. Publication of a second abstract on this research is expected in spring 2016.

Additionally, Blake has conducted research into the inhibition of fatty acid synthase in the treatment of human carcinomas with Dr. Tarek Mahfouz, associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at ONU. After completing his PharmD at Ohio Northern University, Blake intends to earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology. Ultimately, he would like to lead a research team to discover and design more effective means to induce breast cell apoptosis in breast adenocarcinomas, with the ultimate goal being to improve treatment of breast cancers.

A resident of Findlay, Ohio, Potter was honored for his Goldwater research essay, “Investigation of Atmospheric Electric Propulsion Systems.” Potter’s research for his Ohio Space Grant and projects in aero design are supervised by Dr. Jed Marquart, professor of mechanical engineering at ONU.

Additionally, Potter has participated in two National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates. In summer 2012, he conducted research into nanomechanics and nanotechnology under the mentorship of Dr. Steve Tung. The following summer, in the lab of Dr. Mathiew Fancoeur at the University of Utah, Potter fabricated Mie resonance-based metamaterials for use in nano-scale gap thermophotovoltaic devices. After graduating from Ohio Northern with a dual BSME and BS, Potter plans to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and conduct research into aircraft and spacecraft propulsion.

Established in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation fosters and encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed more than 7,428 scholarships worth approximately $48 million.

For the 2015-16 academic year, the Foundation awarded 260 scholarships to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,206 students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.