Elizabeth Peuchen earns an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Author: Stephanie Healey

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the awardees of the 2015 Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP). This year, eight College of Science students and two alumni received awards. In addition, several students and alumni received honorable mentions. There were over 16,000 applications for this year’s GRFP with 2,000 awardees nationwide.

The fellowship provides three years of support for the graduate education of students who have demonstrated the potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.  Past NSF Fellows include individuals who have made significant breakthroughs in science and engineering research, as well as some who have been honored as Nobel laureates.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Awardees

Elizabeth Peuchen

Elizabeth Peuchen is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Working with Norman Dovichi, her research focuses on studying protein expression level changes in Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) during early development.  Xenopus laevis is a model vertebrae species able to regenerate its severed spinal cord. By understanding how protein expressions change during development, she hopes to determine which proteins allow Xenopus laevis to regenerate their spinal cord while other vertebrates do not have the same ability. 

 “I have been fascinated by how and why things work since I was young," said Peuchen. "As an undergraduate, I took part in research at The Land Institute, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Newman University. These experiences really developed my interest in chemistry.”

Peuchen graduated from Newman University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Minors in History and Math.

Honorable Mention

Three additional Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate students received honorable mention in the competition. They are Kaitlyn Eckert, Beth Facchine, and Kristen Johnson.

Modified from original article published by Stephanie Healey at science.nd.edu on April 17, 2015.