Goldwater Scholarship Winner: Alex Wooldredge

April 10, 2020
Amanda Nagy
Woman smiling.
Third-year Alex Wooldredge Photo credit: Courtesy of Alex Wooldredge

Alex Wooldredge is one of Oberlin's three recipients of the Goldwater Scholarship, a competitive award program that supports students in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Third-year Alex Wooldredge, a biology major and chemistry minor with interests in synthetic biology, has received the Goldwater Scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Wooldredge recently started working in Professor of Biology Maureen Peters’ lab studying the molecular genetics of nutrition and aging in the model organism C. elegans. Her undergraduate research experience started in her first year, when she spent her first Winter Term working with Professor of Biology Yolanda Cruz studying progesterone signaling in pregnant opossums.

The following summer, Wooldredge worked at Omeros, a biopharmaceutical company in Seattle, Washington. In summer 2019, she studied the link between sequence, structure, and function in ribosomes in an effort to better understand how researchers can engineer the ribosome for new purposes at Northwestern University's Center for Synthetic Biology. That research position was funded by the National Science Foundation’s synthetic biology research experience for undergraduates program.

Wooldredge, who is from Stow, Ohio, hopes the Goldwater Scholarship will provide an advantage when applying to graduate schools and research fellowships in the coming year. 

One of the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate awards for students pursuing research in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics, the Goldwater Scholarship supports college sophomores and juniors with up to $7,500 for tuition and expenses. Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs.

At Oberlin, Wooldredge is a tutor with America Reads, serves as a Ninde Scholars tutor in Oberlin City Schools, and is involved in the sustained dialogue initiative Barefoot Dialogue.

Wooldredge says she hopes to earn a PhD in molecular biology with the goal of leading synthetic biology research, “helping to develop new therapeutics, either at a university or at a biotech company.”

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