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Around the Columns

Count ’em: four Goldwaters

Rachel Waller

Rachel Waller, an undergraduate researcher from St. Louis, is one of MU’s four Goldwater Scholars. Photo by Nicholas Benner

Biochemistry major Rachel Waller of St. Louis is one of four University of Missouri students who won the 2010 Goldwater Scholarship, an elite academic prize for science, mathematics and engineering students. Universities may nominate only four students a year, and this is the first time all four MU nominees won the award.

Waller works in the lab of Judy Wall, professor of biochemistry, who studies the bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (DvH), which may help rid groundwater of widespread uranium contamination. Waller works to better understand DvH, which can transform uranium into solid form, allowing it to be removed from water.

MU’s other Goldwater Scholars are Daniel Cook of Belton, Mo.; April Diebold of Blue Springs, Mo.; and Bertram Drury of Mukilteo, Wash.

Cook, a biological science and chemistry major, studies advances in human regenerative medicine. Diebold, a biological science and international relations major, studies the strange hybridizing habits of the onion-like plant, Brodiaea. Drury, a biochemistry major, studies the effects of endocrine disruptors — such as the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastic bottles — on mammalian development.