Darren Heintzman, a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Freed-Hardeman University, has been selected for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt University.
At FHU, Heintzman majored in biology and minored in chemistry and Christian apologetics. The faculty presented him the Faculty Scholarship-Leadership medal, the highest recognition the FHU faculty can bestow, in 2017. He was also named the Biology Research Student of the Year.
Heintzman is enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Vanderbilt where he will specialize in molecular pathology and immunology. His career in research began at FHU where he received second authorship on a manuscript based on research accomplished while an FHU student.
At Vanderbilt, he was first author on a paper published in “Cell Reports.” His research was completed while working in the lab of Dr. James Dewar of Vanderbilt.
The GRFP helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
Dr. Caleb Kersey, Heintzman’s research mentor at FHU, called him “one of the best undergraduate research students to have come through my lab at FHU.”
“Darren’s recent acceptance of the NSF GRF award puts him in select company, since this award is given to fewer than 15 percent of more than 10,000 applicants,” Kersey said. “Darren has made his FHU family proud, and I’m confident he will continue to impress while earning his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University.”
From Middlebourne, West Virginia, Heintzman is married to the former Lanae Hodnett who also graduated from FHU in 2017.