Sophomore biology major Ryan J. Rahman ’22 has been selected as one of two 2019-20 Beckman Scholars at Texas A&M University, as announced by the Texas A&M LAUNCH: Honors Program.
The Beckman Scholars Program was established in 1997 by the California-based Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to recognize and support outstanding undergraduate researchers in chemistry and the biological sciences — those whose studies of “the chemistry of life” will lead to “the invention of new methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.” The award honors the memory of Arnold O. Beckman, founder-chairman emeritus of Beckman Instruments, Inc., and inventor of several scientific instruments, including the Beckman DU Spectrophotometer that revolutionized chemical analysis. Texas A&M has been an invited member of the prestigious program since 2014.
Rahman, a Ransom Canyon, Texas, native and pre-medical student who’s also minoring in neuroscience, and his fellow 2019-20 honoree — sophomore biomedical engineering major Brandon Look Fong ’22 from Spring, Texas — are among 68 undergraduate scholars from 13 universities across the nation chosen to receive 2019-20 Beckman Foundation scholarships. A total of 10 Texas A&M students have been selected during the past five years for the elite honor, including fellow biology student Rachel Porter ’21 and 2018 Texas A&M chemistry graduate and Brown-Rudder Award recipient Brooke Versaw ’18.
Each year on select campuses across the country, Beckham Scholars are chosen on the basis of an intensive written application and interview process that probes each candidate’s goals, values and commitment to a career in scientific research and community service. Texas A&M’s process begins by identifying the top students majoring in biochemistry, biomedical engineering, chemistry or genetics during the spring semester of their freshman year. As Beckman Scholars, each will start their undergraduate research career with the top Beckman faculty mentors in their departments the summer prior to their sophomore year, embarking on research projects that they will continue through graduation.
A recipient of the President’s Endowed Scholarship and a National Merit Commended Scholar, Rahman is a member of the Dr. Richard Gomer Laboratory in the Texas A&M Department of Biology, where he analyzes important proteins in the signal transduction pathway of phagocytosis in order to develop novel therapeutics to combat harmful pathogens that trigger any number of diseases, such as tuberculosis. Rahman has previous medical experience working as an intern at the Trustpoint Rehabilitation Clinic in his hometown and is active on campus in the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and the Biology Honors Program. Within AMSA, he currently serves as the Global Health Committee Head, a position that entails organizing and leading numerous global health events — including the Walk4Water, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Solei Hope fundraisers — in order to raise awareness and make a worldwide impact. Rahman also is a member of Texas A&M’s two-time national championship a cappella team, Swaram A Cappella, and was instrumental in leading the team to a third-place national finish in 2019.
“Science, music, discovery and helping others are my passions,” Rahman said. “It is my dream to pursue medicine and become an MD/Ph.D. in neurosurgery so that I can continue to make a difference in the lives of those around me.”
In addition to lab research, Beckman Scholars are expected to participate in a series of leadership and research programming designed to give them a unique depth and breadth of understanding of the overall research enterprise. These experiences and opportunities include access to student-peer mentors and faculty research advisors, leadership training such as communication skills and conflict management, insight into and participation in the scientific review and publication process and preparation for national fellowship and graduate or professional school applications.
Beckman Scholars receive significant scholarship support from both the Beckman Foundation and the Texas A&M Division of Research during summers and academic years as well as additional funds to help defray the cost of research supplies or travel to professional conferences. Their efforts also are supported in part by generous donations from the Texas A&M Association of Former Students.
Learn more about the Beckman Scholars Program or Texas A&M Honors and Undergraduate Research at http://launch.tamu.edu/Honors.
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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including in science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M generated annual expenditures of more than $922 million in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2017), based on expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.
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