"As an undergraduate, I was able to do research and work with (faculty mentor) Dr. Rabi Musah on a structure-based drug design targeting the mutationally conserved nucleo-capsid protein of HIV-1," says Agyemang. In May 2002, she graduated with honors in biochemistry and molecular biology, capping an outstanding UAlbany undergraduate career.
While chemistry professor, Dr. Musah, guided Ammaís first research, her second project fell under the guidance of staffers at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. "Iíve made life-long friendships and a network of mentors, peers and faculty who will be indispensable to my success as a physician scientist," she says.
At UAlbany Agyemang was accepted as a Ronald E. McNair scholar. Dr. Ronald McNair was one of the astronauts killed in 1986 when the space shuttle Challenger exploded after takeoff. The scholarship that bears his name is a program that encourages historically underrepresented undergraduate students to consider graduate school--to offer them extensive research experience via faculty mentoring, and to provide them with graduate school orientation, career advisement and personal growth strategies. "Being accepted into the McNair Program was one of the best things that ever happened to me," she said.
Her academic work at UAlbany resulted in superior grades and the awards just started rolling in Ė Phi Beta Kappa, the Goldwater Scholarship, Golden Key National Honor Society, Seth Spelman honoree, Presidential Scholar, and the Frederick Douglass Scholarship. She is also listed in Whoís Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
Funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and UAlbany, the McNair Program is one of the most comprehensive support vehicles to assist students, especially students of color, focused on securing an advanced degree. UAlbany exclusively cultivates those undergraduates interested in working toward degrees in science and technology. For details on the Ronald McNair Program, visit www.albany.edu/eop/ronald_mcnair_program.html.