Student, alumni win Prevent Blindness and NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


Two Ohio State chemical engineering alumni have been selected for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship.

The award is not only considered a prestigious honor; NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering, and are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security while contributing to the economic well-being of society at large. In fact, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. According to the NSF GRFP website, students are chosen based on their abilities and accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to the vitality of US science and engineering enterprises.

National Science Foundation fellowships recognize and support outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

This year's winners include the following two alumni:


2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipients

Olivia Krebs

Olivia Krebs (BS '18), a former undergraduate who worked in the laboratory of Prof. David Wood for several years, is currently a doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University and works at Capadona Lab.

Ajay Shankaran

shankaran, aj cr

Ajay Shankaran (BS '20), worked in Prof. Eduardo Reategui's Laboratory as a CBE undergraduate. "When I entered Ohio State as a freshman, I was not entirely sure what career path I wanted to pursue as an engineer," he said. "The professors in CBE helped me narrow my interests and gave me opportunities to learn more about my options in the field. These classes broadened my understanding of chemical engineering and its various applications."

Research:  Ajay is currently conducting graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. He is studying cancer metabolism and immune cell interactions, with a focus is on how cancer cells manipulate the immune system through cellular messengers.

Career Goals:  After finishing his doctoral degree, Ajay hopes to transition into the pharmaceutical industry and work in the development of immunotherapies.


2021 Prevent Blindness Research Fellowship Award

Megan Allyn

Congratulations to Megan Allyn on receiving the 2021 Prevent Blindness Research Fellowship Award from the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindess! Megan is a doctoral student in chemical and biomolecular engineering whose advisors are Prof. Katelyn Swindle-Reilly and Prof. Andre Palmer.

Allyn, Megan cr

Megan's proposal was selected for the Young Investigator Student Fellowship Award for Female Scholars in Vision Research. This award provides training support for future generations of outstanding female scientists committed to pursuing biomedical, behavioral or clinical research careers relevant to the mission of Prevent Blindness.

Megan's research will assess novel therapeutic interventions for age-related macular degeneration including new therapeutics and extended release systems. 

Category: Alumni