This fall, David Morse will begin his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, which will be funded by the Fulbright-Cambridge Partnership Award—one of the most competitive Fulbright Scholarships awarded. Only one to two students are selected for the award each year. Morse also received the Whitaker International Program Fellowship which will provide additional funding to study at Cambridge this coming year. The Whitaker International Program is funded by the Institute of International Education and has a mission to promote international collaboration in the growing field of biomedical engineering.
Morse graduated from UT this past spring as a member of the College Scholars Program. Although Morse was not an engineering major, his College Scholars mentor was MABE Assistant Professor Dibyendu Mukherjee, who encouraged, supported and prepared Morse for his studies at Cambridge.
“David is one of those high-caliber undergraduate students who was quick to start a relatively new project on nanotoxicology studies through metal oxide nanoparticle-lipid interactions from scratch in my laboratory. He joined my group as an undergraduate researcher right after his freshman year and has always been a highly motivated student with a knack for scholarly work. This is clearly demonstrated by his sincere efforts in learning novel scientific techniques, and theories in an interdisciplinary research area in a short period of time. David is a very compassionate person who brings in a lot of positive energy in group interactions. He sets an example for the quality of undergraduate students UT can produce. I am positive that David will pursue a very bright academic and research career through his fellowships at Cambridge,” Mukherjee stated.
Through the College Scholars program, Morse took a couple of engineering classes and had the opportunity to work in Mukherjee’s engineering lab where he received extremely valuable training and experience researching nanoparticle-lipid interactions as part of his College Scholars thesis work. Under Mukherjee’s guidance, Morse was able to learn laboratory techniques and apply for competitive REU programs. Mukherjee helped Morse receive a REU at Harvard University, where he worked with lipids in the Weitz Lab. During Morse’s senior year, Mukherjee encouraged him to apply for the Fulbright and Whitaker fellowships.
“I am so grateful to Dr. Mukherjee for all he has done to enable the progression of my education as a science researcher. His guidance, support, training and inspiration are much of what enabled me to get these awards and be admitted to the University of Cambridge and are a testament to the quality of the faculty at the University of Tennessee,” Morse stated.
At Cambridge, Morse will be studying an MPhil in engineering with Professor Sir Mark Welland of the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre. They will be designing a new nanoparticle cancer drug for Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most common and aggressive form of adult brain cancer.