Biology Student Earns NSF's Highest Undergraduate Award

By Dustin Petzold | April 19, 2023

Rutgers University in Camden is proud to congratulate Teresa Osorio, a graduating senior majoring in biology, for her acceptance into the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The fellowship is one of the most lucrative and prestigious awards an undergraduate can receive; it covers three years of tuition to a Ph.D. program and includes a $37,000 annual stipend. Osorio has chosen to enroll at Johns Hopkins University, where she will pursue her research interests in behavioral neuroscience.

“I am tremendously proud that Teresa Osorio has attained one of the highest honors available to undergraduate students,” said Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “This award speaks volumes about her academic excellence and Rutgers–Camden's commitment to student success.”

A Mexican-American first-generation college student, Osorio is a member of Rutgers–Camden’s Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, which provides training and mentorship to undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds who wish to pursue doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences. As a middle school student, Osorio became a member of the Rutgers Future Scholars program, and she went on to become a founding member and the inaugural president of the student-run organization Black & Latine Excellence in STEM (BLES).

Teresa Osorio, a graduating senior majoring in biology

Teresa Osorio, a graduating senior majoring in biology

“I am incredibly excited for Teresa. She is an outstanding student who is fully deserving of this recognition and opportunity, which is even more competitive among undergraduate students. Her accomplishment gives us all reason to celebrate.”
Kwangwon Lee, associate professor of biology and director of the MARC program

As an undergraduate researcher at Rutgers–Camden, Osorio worked alongside graduate students, postdoctoral students, and faculty members to study mitochondrial physiology, sleep deprivation, and Alzheimer’s disease, among other topics.

“I am deeply grateful and blessed for this opportunity to pursue my research interests,” Osorio said. “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my incredible mentors, lab mates, family, friends, and community for their unwavering support. This recognition means so much to me, my efforts to promote STEM outreach in underserved communities, and my future contributions as a young scientist. I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

Creative Design: Beatris Santos

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