UA-Little Rock Indian American Student Stuti Chatterjee Wins 2021 Whitbeck Memorial Award
Stuti Chatterjee, double majoring in chemistry and biology, has been honored by the University of Arkansas-Little Rock with the 2021 Edward L. Whitbeck Memorial Award. (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock May 17 announced that Indian American Stuti Chatterjee was named the winner of the 2021 Edward L. Whitbeck Memorial Award.
Frank L. and Beverly Whitbeck established the award in memory of their son, Edward Lynn Whitbeck, who was a senior at Little Rock University, the predecessor of UA Little Rock, at the time of his death in 1965. Each scholar receives a personalized plaque and a monetary award.
“The Whitbeck Award is given to the outstanding graduating senior,” said Dr. Simon Hawkins, director of the Donaghey Scholars Honors Program. “Stuti is outstanding in so many ways, but more than that, she is inspirational. She represents the best of UA Little Rock. Stuti’s education has changed her. It has given her so much, and she has given so much back to the university and the larger community.”
Chatterjee, a Donaghey Scholar from Bryant, earned the Whitbeck Award while double majoring in chemistry and biology at UA Little Rock. After graduation, Chatterjee will be taking a gap year to work and to study for the Medical College Admission Test before going to medical school in the fall 2022 semester, the news release noted.
“I think that medicine is one of those fields where you never stop learning,” she said in the release. “It’s also one of the most giving fields. Showing empathy and compassion is something you don’t get to do at all jobs. There is one goal at the end of the day, to make the patient happy and to make the patient well.”
While at UA Little Rock, Chatterjee worked with Dr. Noureen Siraj, assistant professor of chemistry, to study the use of nanodrugs for effective cancer cell therapies.
“I created a more non-invasive approach to treat cancer cells,” Chatterjee adds. “Usually nanoparticles that are used to treat cancer are made out of gold. It works, but it’s very expensive. We are looking for organic elements that can be exchanged for gold in nanoparticles.”
Chatterjee has received two Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship grants and three Signature Experience Awards from UA Little Rock to fund her research, the university said.
Her research project, “Tunable sized combination nanodrugs based on ionic materials,” has earned Chatterjee a second-place award at the Student Research and Creative Works Expo at UA Little Rock as well as an honorable mention for the INBRE (Idea Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence) Conference this year. She was also named the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Student for the Department of Chemistry.