Jamshaid Shahir pursues research at the interface of math and biology through Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel Hill

Jamshaid Shahir
B.S., Mathematics and Statistics
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Woodstock, Maryland
Plans: Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The mentorship and guidance I received from the Meyerhoff Scholars staff and my professors has been invaluable in clarifying my resolve to earn a Ph.D. and has opened many doors for me, such as presenting at conferences around the country, from Harvard to Hawaii.

Jamshaid Shahir, M26, is a Meyerhoff Scholar, MARC U*STAR Scholar, and member of the Honors College at UMBC. With his mentor Hye-Won Kang, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, Shahir has worked on mathematically modeling the process of cell polarization, a mechanism that enables the cell to move and transmit information. This mechanism is important for a broad range multicellular functions, such as wound healing and embryonic development. Understanding how cells polarize is a fundamental question in cell biology.

Shahir presents his research at a conference in Hawaii. “Getting to share my research on a national stage and chat with leading experts was an amazing experience,” he says. Image courtesy Jamshaid Shahir.

Shahir was named a 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellow, which will fund his graduate work at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for three years. In 2017, he received an honorable mention for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Shahir is also a member of several honor societies, including Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society; Mu Sigma Rho, the national statistics honor society; and the Golden Key International Honour Society, as well as a member of the American Statistical Association.

He has also supported fellow Meyerhoff Scholars by serving as a Meyerhoff Peer Advisor. “My time at UMBC has made me more resilient, learning from failure and overcoming it,” Shahir shares. “I believe UMBC promotes a healthy balance between cooperation and competition that has motivated me to push myself harder, allowing me to grow as an aspiring scientist and a young adult, with a strong and supportive network of peers and mentors that I believe will endure well beyond my time at UMBC.”

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.