Published: April 15, 2022

CU Boulder student Rose Summers is among the 417 college students from across the United States in 2022 to be awarded Goldwater Scholarships, which reward juniors and seniors who are actively conducting research in math, science and engineering.  The Goldwater Foundation was established in 1986 in honor of Sen. Barry Goldwater. The scholarship program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Summers, a junior from Ward, Colorado, majoring in integrative physiology and neuroscience; join 46 previous CU Boulder Goldwater Scholars and will receive up to $7,500 for the 2022–23 academic year.

Rose Summers

Rose Summers

Summers’ research focuses on neurological pathologies, which include disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and ALS. Currently she is working on a study that aims to explore the use of Mycobacterium vaccae for the prevention of stress-related chronic inflammation in shift workers. Working with Christopher Lowry in his Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab on campus, she hopes to learn more about how chronic neurological inflammation is linked to the progression of dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and how this relationship could be a target for future preventative methods and treatments. This summer she will be conducting research through the Harvard Amgen program.

“I am drawn to this partially because it is a field with so much potential for growth, as many aspects of the human brain remain mysteries,” Summers said. “But, more importantly, there is such an urgent need for an increased understanding of neurological pathologies because they can be devastating, even deadly, for patients, and they are extremely difficult to treat.” 

After graduating, Summers plans to enroll in an accelerated master’s program to refine her research skills before entering a PhD or MD/PhD program.

“My aspirations for future research are to contribute to the knowledge of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative pathologies with the goal of aiding in the creation of new therapies,” she said. “My ultimate motivation for my work is that it will, directly or indirectly, improve quality of life for patients suffering from neurological disorders.”

Summers credits her lab mentors and instructors at CU for being incredibly supportive.

“I am grateful for the many opportunities I am being given, including the honor of being a Goldwater Scholar, and I could not have accomplished any of this without the kindness and generosity of those around me,” she said.

The original article appeared in CU Boulder Today.