IUPUI RISE Initiatives Expand Horizons for Recent Chemistry Graduate

Anthony Nastase | 2013 Alumnus, B.S. Biochemistry
Ph.D. Student, Medicinal Chemistry, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Recent graduate Anthony Nastase is thankful IUPUI supports initiatives like international study abroad, which helped him not only fulfill a lifelong dream but also exposed him to new and exciting cultures.

Nastase, a biochemistry major who graduated in May 2013, was one of two seniors in the School of Science at IUPUI to receive the inaugural Indumati Sukhatme RISE Scholarship, which supports the university’s mission in the areas of Research, International, Service Learning and Experiential Learning (RISE) experiences. The scholarship was founded in honor of the mother of Uday Sukhatme, former IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor, Dean of Faculties and physics professor.

Anthony NastaseAthony Nastase is flanked (left) by Nigel Richards, Ph.D., chair of chemistry, and Dean Simon Rhodes (right)at the 2013 Science Honors Convocation.

The RISE scholarship allowed Nastase to study with the Go Green program in Mannheim, Germany, where he worked on projects such as sustainable design, engineering, manufacturing technology and leadership processes.

“I’d always wanted to go to Germany, so when I heard there might be a scholarship available for this program … I got even more excited,” said Nastase, originally from LaPorte, Ind.

“The program gave me an opportunity to learn about ‘green’ approaches to things like engineering, waste management and energy production,” he added. “But just as important, this experience helped me realize how much is out there that I haven’t seen. It gave me an appreciation for other cultures outside my own.”

He enjoyed the experience so much, in fact, that he will travel to Berlin this summer.

He worked for two years in the lab of Donald Boyd, Ph.D., research professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Their work involved computational chemistry research to enhance potential drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. The results of their study were published in 2012 in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.

Nastase is a former Top 100 student at IUPUI. In 2013, he was one of two students to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Undergraduate Research. He also received the Student Research and Recognition Award from the American Institute of Chemist Students.

“The emphasis on academics and research at IUPUI has been a hugely positive influence on my life,” Nastase said. “A traditional campus would have had many more distractions, and I don’t believe I ever would have achieved what I was able to do at a different university.”

“I found the greatest asset for me as a science student to be the supportive atmosphere created by my peers and professors,” he added.

This fall, Nastase will begin pursuit of his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He hopes one day to return to Indianapolis and begin a career in pharmaceutical research, possibly at Eli Lilly and Co.