Senior Wins Major NIH Scholarship for Research

Senior Ebenezer Ewul has won the National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship for the 2015-2016 year.

Senior Ebenezer Ewul has won the National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship for the 2015-2016 year.

Lehman Today – Graduating senior Ebenezer Laud Vivienn Ewul is one of 16 students nationwide to be selected for the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship program. Upon graduating in the spring, Ewul will move to Maryland where he will take part in a paid research training program during the summer, followed by a year of employment at the NIH labs.

“This is a great opportunity, and I owe all this is to the glory of God. He always does exceedingly, abundantly, above all I could ask or think,” says Ewul, who dreams of being a neuroscientist. While he will graduate with a degree in chemistry with a specialization in biochemistry, he plans on applying to medical schools with M.D./Ph.D. programs in neuroscience post his NIH obligations.

Right now he works closely with his mentor Dr. Andrei Jitianu in his lab, where he is conducting research on materials for bone regeneration. Specifically, he is trying to artificially create hydroxyapatite compound, a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium phosphate. They are trying to develop a new “band aid” using hydroxyapatite deposited on activated carbon cloth. This will speed up the healing process in bone fractures, thereby eliminating the current use of metal screws and casts.

In the lab, Dr. Jitianu has observed that Ewul is a perfectionist, going beyond most others to accomplish a task. “I push all of my students, but Ebenezer really follows through and it is clear that he really comprehends the material,” says Dr. Jitianu.

Ewul’s desire to understand how things work and get things just right stems from his childhood. He remembers that as a young boy when his father would buy him a toy, it would always come in twos—one for him to take apart and another for him to play with.

“I guess I’ve always been interested in getting to know the inside of things, hence my interest in understanding how the human body with all its organs and intricate nervous system works,” says Ewul.

For now, Ewul looks forward to graduation, continuing his work in Dr. Jitianu’s lab, and working part time at the Information Services Center at the College. It will be another 10 years, or so, filled with medical school and residencies before Ewul can officially call himself a doctor and open his own practice, but the way he sees it, it’s all about the journey.

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