Congratulations to EWU McNair Scholar Aulane Mpouli. Aulane was selected to receive a Sloan Scholarship, an award offered jointly by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Duke University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM). Sloan Scholarships are extended to a highly selective group of admitted graduate students. The Sloan Foundation was created in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr. and is a not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports high quality, impartial scientific research; fosters a robust, diverse scientific workforce; strengthens public understanding and engagement with science; and promotes the health of the institutions of scientific endeavor. This scholarship is in addition to the standard Duke stipend already awarded to Aulane. As a Sloan Scholar, she will have access to resources and opportunities to enhance her academic and professional development, beginning with the Early Start Research Immersion Program. In addition to this five-week experience in the summer before the first year of graduate school, designed to help smooth the transition to Duke, the Sloan Scholarship also includes a series of workshops, symposia, lunches, and periodic check-ins throughout Aulane's time at Duke.
Aulane is an outstanding scholar. She has been accepted by the Chemistry PhD Programs at the University of California San Diego, Duke University, Ohio State University, and the University of Utah, all with full funding! Aulane is majoring in Chemistry and plans on specializing in Analytical Chemistry. Her research interests include analytics, biological chemistry, and catalysis. Last summer Aulane was accepted into a Summer Research Program by Ohio State University, and while they were unable to continue due to COVID-19, she continued to participate in a series of online seminars provided by OSU. Additionally, Aulane completed a McNair Summer Research Internship here at EWU under the mentorshop of Dr. Yao Houndonougbo. Her research, Molecular Docking Study of ITPA Protein Substrate Complex, relates to analyzing the successful ways in which the substrate Inosine Triphosphate (ITP) binds to the enzyme Inosine Triphosphatase in order for it to perform its enzymatic function and prevent the accumulation and over concentration of ITP, an intermediate in the formation of Purines which help make up DNA. The accumulation of ITP could cause mutations in the DNA causing cancers and other detrimental effects to the body. She has continued this research throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Aulane also works as a Teacher’s Assistant for the Quantitative Analysis, BioChem for Health Sciences, and General Chemistry courses where she grades lab reports, prepares unknowns for students, and helps with calculations and clarifications.
The EWU McNair staff are so excited for Aulane and we know she'll do amazing at Duke and beyond! Click here to read more about Aulane or her research.