S&DS Major Samuel Weissman Awarded Goldwater Scholarship

April 24, 2023

Four promising Yale student scientists named Goldwater Scholars

The scholarships named for a former U.S. senator encourage research careers in STEM.

Four students from Yale College’s Class of 2024  — Harper Lowrey, Julian Rubinfien, Madelyn Stewart, and Samuel Weissman — are among the 413 U.S. college students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year. The scholarships, named for the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, encourage students to pursue research careers in the fields of natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

The Goldwater Scholarships, which are among the most eminent undergraduate awards in these fields, are supported by the Goldwater Foundation and by an ongoing partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Education Program (NDEP).

The Yale awardees were selected from a pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors who were nominated by 427 academic institutions. Virtually all of the recipients say they intend to obtain a Ph.D., and many of have already published research in leading professional journals and presented their work at professional society conferences.

Samuel Weissman, of Trumbull College, is majoring in statistics and data science. His research interests include the impact of HIV on T cell division, death, and differentiation, as well as RNA sequencing, in vitro models of HIV infection, and ecological models of cell turnover. Before coming to Yale he won second place in the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search, which recognizes and empowers promising young scientists who are developing ideas that could solve society’s most urgent challenges. He also conducted research in the laboratory of University of Pennsylvania researcher Una O’Doherty, who conducted the first longitudinal analysis of full HIV genomes to track their changes in people being treated for HIV. He was a first author on a 2019 paper in the journal Nature Communications about research conducted in O’Doherty’s lab. During his Hahn Fellowship at Yale, he has worked in the laboratory of Ya-Chi Ho, an infectious disease researcher and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine. There, his latest research is aimed at dissecting the two-way interactions between HIV and the cells it infects, work he will continue this summer. A saxophonist, he enjoys performing jazz and is a new member educator for Yale’s Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. He is interested in a career as a physician-scientist, possibly in infectious diseases.