Georgia State student named Goldwater Scholar

The Albany Herald, Ga.
·1 min read

Apr. 24—ATLANTA — A second-year biology major in the Honors College at Georgia State University has been named a 2021 Goldwater Scholar.

Chetna Batra of Alpharetta is a Georgia State Presidential Scholar and a research assistant in the Nazarko Lab. The lab, headed by Associate Professor of Biology Taras Nazarko, researches how certain cells store and break down fat droplets, a process known as lipophagy. A deeper understanding of lipophagy could help scientists and health care providers discover new ways to prevent and treat certain diseases, including the build-up of cholesterol plaque in artery walls that obstructs blood flow.

"The project I am focused on is researching the degradation of proteins in a single-celled yeast species under different conditions, which can serve as a model organism for genetic study and protein production," Batra said. "Analyzing the role of proteins in lipophagy is important, since it is a crucial cellular process that affects metabolism, homeostasis and pathological conditions."

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation and the U.S. Department of National Defense Education Programs named Batra one of 410 Goldwater Scholars selected from among 5,000 sophomores and juniors who applied from across the country. Goldwater Scholars are undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields who receive up to $7,500 each year for two years.