Nikhil Aggarwal, a senior majoring in the neuroscience track of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded the 2020 Ralph S. Quatrano Prize.
Established through a generous donation by Katherine Day Reinleitner, the Quatrano Prize is awarded to the thesis showing greatest evidence of creativity in design, research methodology or broader scientific implications. The award is given in honor of Ralph Quatrano, the Spencer T. Olin Professor Emeritus and former chair of biology.
Nikhil was nominated by his mentor Mikhail Berezin, an Associate Professor at the Department of Radiology at WUSM, whose laboratory is focused on the development of optical imaging modalities in medicine. He joined the Berezin Lab in May 2019, looking for a challenging project that he could develop on his own. Some of the lab’s projects on chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) using Xenopus oocytes as a research subject is problematic because of their short lifespan. Berezin asked Nikhil to look at adding 3D –forming matrix to the media in order to form an environment similar to what the oocytes experience inside the frog.