Jonathan Werner pursues Ph.D. combining interests in experimental and computational biology

Jonathan Werner
B.S., Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Summa Cum Laude
Hometown: Glen Burnie, Maryland
Plans: Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The Meyerhoff program taught me how to be a scholar and a life-long learner, and the professors and staff here at UMBC taught me how to use my natural curiosity and intellect to be successful in my chosen career path.

Jonathan Werner, M26, has been conducting research with Rachel Brewster, professor of biological sciences, since his freshman year. By studying zebrafish development, “we aim to provide the basic research necessary for the future clinical treatment of neural tube birth defects, the most common birth defects in humans,” he says.

Werner has co-authored two papers based on research in Brewster’s lab and is currently working on his first first-author publication. The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences recognized his efforts with the Faculty Award for Excellence. He is also a member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa.

Werner (right) with one of his best friends from the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at a Tough Mudder race. Photo courtesy of Werner.

Werner was recently selected as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. The fellowship provides three years of funding for his graduate studies, which he will pursue at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York state. Werner intends to blend his interests in experimental and computational biology in his Ph.D. work, a goal the fellowship will facilitate.

As a Meyerhoff Scholar and the Meyerhoff Student Council President, Werner is grateful to the Meyerhoff community for supporting his success and connecting him with exciting opportunities. “While here at UMBC, I have received phenomenal support in both my academic and research pursuits,” he says.

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.