Two UIC Students Recognized by Goldwater Foundation

Two University of Illinois at Chicago students who plan medical careers have been recognized by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Foundation for their academic achievement.

Wenji Guo, a junior in the UIC Honors College majoring in biological sciences, was named a Goldwater Scholar and will receive $7,500 from the foundation for use next year in paying for tuition, books and other fees.

Daniel Wang, also an Honors College junior majoring in biological sciences, received an honorable mention in recognition of his undergraduate science research.

Both plan to earn joint M.D./Ph.D. degrees to become physician-researchers.

Guo has worked with faculty in medical labs at UIC and at the University of Chicago. While much of her research has focused on cancer, she has recently turned to epidemiology.

“Engaging in research is incredibly intellectually rewarding,” she said. “You get the immense privilege of investigating important problems. You get to see something new, for the first time, that no one else has seen.”

Guo, a 2010 graduate of Libertyville High School, has already been a contributing author to journal publications and recently presented a poster at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. She is a leader of several student groups, and was founder of the UIC chapter of United for Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity, a national student-led advocacy group. She has won numerous university academic awards and honors in addition to the Goldwater recognition.

Wang, now a resident of Naperville, is a 2009 graduate of Dunlap Community High School in Dunlap, Ill., near Peoria. He has done research into viral diseases at UIC and in Germany at the Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster Center for Molecular Biology and Virology. He is active in several campus organizations and committees and participates in sports, including intramural football, dodgeball and tennis. He is also on UIC’s cycling and triathlon team.

Only 282 were selected from among 1,123 qualified students nominated for the Goldwater Scholarship, named for the late Republican senator from Arizona. The scholarship ranks among the most prestigious undergraduate awards for students in mathematics, science and engineering.

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