Michael Doane, Chemical Engineering, Biology
“There are so many different programs and entities that all build on each other and combine to give you anything you’re willing to get out of your undergraduate experience.”
Michael Doane is squeezing every experience he can out of UMass Lowell – and winning fellowships and scholarships galore while doing it.
Doane, who left community college in Hayward, Calif., when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, decided to return to college after she died and followed his girlfriend to Massachusetts. He plans to become a cancer researcher.
“Cancer is a peculiar and fascinating thing,” he says. “An accumulation of genetic accidents can cause it, so there are lots of different ways we can try to target it.”
He’s well on his way. The honors student started off majoring in chemical engineering
, then added a second major in biology
. He also has two minors, in biomedical engineering and math.
Those experiences helped him win a summer National Science Foundation fellowship
at the University of Alabama, where he created a computer simulation of glioblastoma cell clusters for use in drug research. That, in turn, led to his winning a prestigious, $7,500 Goldwater Scholarship
for students who plan to pursue academic research careers in the sciences.
“I’m so happy I came to UMass Lowell. There’s an abundance of research opportunities and everything’s been very progressive here,” he says. “There are so many different programs and entities that all build on each other and combine to give you anything you’re willing to get out of your undergraduate experience.”
In 2018, he was awarded an Amgen Scholarship to work at CalTech over the summer on more cancer-related research, and he won a Tau Beta Pi scholarship, as well. Doane has also taken advantage of the professional co-op program
, working at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., testing new equipment and processes for biotechnology research.
Doane has pursued research related to the biodigester, too, including an internship at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute in California, where he investigated enzymes that can help break down biomass and convert it to biofuel. He continues to work remotely on the project as a research assistant as he applies to Ph.D. programs.
What hasn’t he done? Study abroad.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to fit that in,” he jokes.