Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Home > News > Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering senior Cayla Miller wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering senior Cayla Miller wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Cayla Miller, a senior in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has won a highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for 2015. This annual competition of the National Science Foundation supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering.

The Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of stipend and graduation tuition support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. As part of the application process, applicants have to submit a research statement describing their plans for future research, along with three supporting reference letters. An important component of the selection process is not only outstanding academic record, but also clear demonstration of research productivity and future potential. Approximately 2000 fellowships are awarded each year by NSF in all areas of science and engineering.

Cayla's research at Lehigh has focused on using computational methods to study biologically relevant proteins, under the supervision of Jeetain Mittal. In particular, her first project aimed at characterizing amylin, a polypeptide implicated in Type II Diabetes. As a result of this work, she published her first peer-reviewed journal article, which appeared in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, as a first author. In addition, Cayla has presented this work both within the University community, at the David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium, and outside Lehigh, at the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2014. During subsequent work, Cayla has contributed to two other publications in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B and the Journal of Chemical Physics. Below are the journal articles:

Best, R.B.; Miller, C.; & Mittal, J. Role of Solvation in Pressure-Dependent Helix Formation. J. Chem. Phys., 2014, 144(22), 22D522.

Miller, C.; Brown, A.; Mittal, J. Disorder in Cholesterol-Binding Functionality of CRAC Peptides: A Molecular Dynamics Study. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2014, 118(46), 13169-13174.

Miller, C.; Zerze, G. H.; Mittal, J. Molecular Simulations Indicate Marked Differences in the Structure of Amylin Mutants, Correlated with Known Aggregation Propensity. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2013, 117(50), 16066-16075.

Cayla intends to pursue her doctoral degree in chemical engineering at Stanford University in the Fall of 2015.


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Posted April 14, 2015

Cayla Miller

Ms. Cayla Miller, winner of the 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship