Computational Biology Student Named Goldwater Scholar

April 16, 2024

Jayashree Balaraman
Jayashree Balaraman

Jayashree Balaraman, a sophomore computational biology student, has been named a Goldwater Scholar for 2024. Balaraman hails from East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Named for the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater is considered among the most prestigious awards available to sophomores and juniors from U.S. colleges and universities who show exceptional promise in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering and who intend to intend to pursue research careers in these fields.  

“The Department of Defense’s continued partnership with the Goldwater Foundation ensures we are supporting the development of scientific talent essential to maintaining our nation’s competitive advantage,” said Jagadeesh Pamulapati, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology Foundations, who oversees the National Defense Education Programs.

Balaraman was one of 438 recipients of the 2024 Goldwater selected from a pool of over 5,000 applicants and 1,353 nominees. Nominees represented 446 institutions across the U.S. Winners are awarded up to $7,500 per academic year to help cover the costs of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board.

“My research journey began in high school with participation in the Waksman Institute's bioinformatics program at Rutgers University,” said Balaraman. “This experience sparked my interest in the field of research. Coming to RPI, I was excited by the limitless opportunities offered. The Career Center, Department of Biological Sciences, and School of Science all provided invaluable guidance, which I'm incredibly grateful for.”     

She is currently working in the lab of Jennifer Hurley, Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development Chair, with graduate student Sharleen Buel to explore the effects of time-of-day on mouse macrophage immune response. 

“Jayashree is a talented and hardworking student who has significantly contributed to the research going on in my lab,” said Hurley. “I am very proud that Jayashree was selected as a Goldwater Scholar and I look forward to seeing how this scholarship will help to guide her research in the future.”

Balaraman plans to pursue interdisciplinary research combining computational biology with structural biology to understand proteins involved in complex diseases. Outside of research, she is actively involved with the Women's Mentoring Program, Science Ambassadors, and the TriBeta Biological Honors Society. 





Written By Tracey Leibach
Press Contact Tracey Leibach
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