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Melissa Lee

Juniors Melissa Lee and Alex Houck have been recognized by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, which awards students studying mathematics, science, and engineering.

Lee, a Haslam Scholar majoring in integrative neuroscience, was named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar. The 2013 Goldwater Scholars were selected based upon academic merit from a field of 1,107 students studying mathematics, science, and engineering, all of whom were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Those awarded will receive up to $7,500 per year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Lee, of Brentwood, has studied the localization and temporal expression patterns of several proteins in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the brain under the watch of Rebecca Prosser, professor in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, since her freshman year. A research enthusiast, Lee is a co-founder and co-president of the Undergraduate Research Students Association and will serve as the editor in chief of Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research for the 2013/2014 academic year. She is also vice president of the Neuroscience Club and serves on the Student Advisory Committee for both the Undergraduate Research and the Carnegie Community Engagement Advisory Committee. Lee wants to pursue her doctorate in neuroscience.

Alex Houck

Alex Houck, who is studying neuropathology and neurolinguistics, received an honorable mention from the Goldwater Scholarship Program. Houck, of Knoxville, is active on campus as the founding co-president of UT’s Neuroscience Club and currently serves on the editorial board of Pursuit. Houck has assisted with several laboratory studies at UT, including research on the molecular pathobiology of Alzheimer’s disease as well as the influence of prosody on the hemispheric processing of linguistic stimuli. In addition to his work at UT, Houck volunteers at the Cole Neuroscience Center, where he administers cognitive tests to patients with suspected cases of dementia. He has independently collaborated with the Institute of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, a specialist center located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that is dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cognitive and behavioral disorders. Houck aspires to become a physician scientist, studying the molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases or neurolinguistics.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for fifty-six years as a soldier and statesman, including thirty years of service in the US Senate. The purpose of the foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. For more information, visit the Goldwater Scholarship website.

For guidance on applying for the Goldwater Scholarship, contact UT’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships at

C O N T A C T :

Christine Copelan (865-974-2225,