Skip To Main Content
HoltAshley Holt, senior in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been selected as the 2018 Goldwater Scholarship recipient.

Holt was nominated by Texas A&M as part of a pool of thousands of national applicants from colleges and universities. The award was presented by the office of Learning Communities, Academic Excellence, Undergraduate Research, National Fellowships, Capstones and Honors at Texas A&M on behalf of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

“I’m incredibly thankful for all the mentorship and support that I’ve gotten as a student here and as a scholar,” Holt said.

Since joining the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Holt said she has been part of some amazing projects, including building an electrocardiograph in the instrumentation lab, modeling the electrical signal through a neuron using LabVIEW in a computing class, learning how a CT scanner collects data and creates an image in an imaging class and understanding how the body reacts to the implantation of a medical device in her bioresponse class.

“I have always been really interested in biology and medicine,” Holt said. “I think one of the biggest things about biomedical engineering is that it’s taking all of the engineering principles and applying them to medicine to help people live better lives.”

Outside of the classroom, Holt has taken advantage of chances to work with researchers in and outside the department. She worked with Dr. Ry Young, university distinguished professor and professor of biochemistry and biophysics and biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics to research the mechanisms that allow bacteriophages to destroy the outer membrane of bacterial cells. Holt has helped identify a new protein involved in the disruption of the outer membrane of E. coli, which could potentially lead to new antibiotic technologies.

She has published two papers based on her work in Young’s lab, directly reflecting the success of her research.

Holt was also selected as a Beckman Scholar and a University Scholar in 2016. She is completing her undergraduate research scholars thesis as part of her capstone experience for the University Honors Program. She is vice president of Texas A&M’s chapter of Engineering World Health, where engineers are encouraged to solve health challenges occurring in the developing world.

After graduation, Holt would like to pursue a M.D./Ph.D. and continue to do research on antibiotic resistance. She said she hopes to stand at the intersection of medicine, engineering and scientific innovation.

Goldwater scholarships are awarded to exceptional sophomore or junior undergraduates who intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. The Goldwater Foundation gave its first award in 1989 and has bestowed more than $40 million worth of scholarships.