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Duquesne Undergrad Recognized with Prestigious Science Award

A Duquesne University student researching pain and depression has been selected from applicants across the state as western Pennsylvania's first Clarkston Scholar.

Edward Hilton IV, a sophomore biochemistry major who also is minoring in math and biology, was selected from a talented pool of students throughout the state for the $10,000 scholarship. The scholarship, in only its fourth year, is awarded by Clarkston Consulting to a highly motivated sophomore who excels in the classroom, has a focused interest and passion for life sciences, and plans to become a life-science professional.

"This award is another example of Duquesne's outstanding work in the sciences being recognized by others in the field," said Dean Philip Reeder of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. "In recent years, our students and their faculty mentors have been honored by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Chemical Society and with Goldwater Scholarships. It's gratifying to see our work applauded by such prestigious organizations."

Hilton works in the lab of Dr. Ben Kolber, assistant professor in the department of biological sciences and the research and education coordinator for Duquesne's Chronic Pain Research Consortium. In the lab, Hilton is working on a collaborative project with consortium member Dr. Kevin Tidgewell, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, characterizing the neurological activity of novel compounds from marine bacteria and identifying the species of bacteria making the compounds.

Hilton, who was drawn to Duquesne because of opportunities for undergraduate biomedical research, had initially planned to attend dental school. "Part of the reason I became involved with pain research was because pain is a large part of dentistry and I could benefit both in my preparation for dental school and my interest in research," Hilton said. "The other part of me found the method for combatting pain by specifically targeting receptors in the brain simply interesting."

Now that he's been in the research lab for almost 11 months, he's exploring multiple career options, including drug development and/or advanced degrees.

In addition to the scholarship, Hilton will receive personal mentoring in life sciences by Clarkston Consulting and participate in events sponsored by PA Bio, the statewide trade association for life sciences, over the next two years.

Previous scholarship winners were from the University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.