VCU has Seventh Goldwater Scholar in Past Four Years

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Christopher Pang, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the premier national scholarship for undergraduate math, science and engineering students.

Pang is the seventh VCU student to be named a Goldwater Scholar in the past four years. Pang, who attended Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, Calif., is enrolled in the VCU Honors College. He is majoring in biology.

Pang has participated in extensive research efforts at VCU since his first year, especially in the lab of Joyce Lloyd, Ph.D., professor of genetics in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics in the VCU School of Medicine. Pang’s research there has focused on understanding gene expression in erythroid cells. He hopes that his research ultimately will lead to new ways to treat patients with hemoglobinopathies, such as sickle cell disease.

Pang also founded and organized a medical science internship program for high school students at VCU and is the founding editor-in-chief of “Auctus: Research and Creative Scholarship Journal at VCU,” a research journal that promotes and showcases the products of VCU students’ scholarly pursuits.

Following graduation from VCU, Pang plans to pursue dual M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He has his sights on a career as a physician scientist, conducting biomedical research with a focus in molecular genetics, practicing medicine and teaching at a medical school.

The Goldwater Scholarship Program, which honors the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. This year, 278 Goldwater Scholars were selected from a field of more than 1,100 applicants.

Scholars are selected based on academic merit and the potential to pursue a research career. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Pang applied for the Goldwater Scholarship through the Honors College’s National Scholarship Office, which assists VCU students and alumni who wish to compete for prestigious national and international scholarships.