Paul Sargunas, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is one of five Johns Hopkins students named a 2024 Siebel Scholar. The honor recognizes students in bioengineering fields for exemplary achievement in academia, research, and leadership.
Sargunas works in the laboratory of Jamie Spangler to develop innovative protein-based therapies for treating a variety of diseases. Sargunas’ highly collaborative work has resulted in co-authorship on four peer-reviewed publications, 10 presentations, and has earned him several prestigious awards, including the Visual Science Training Program Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and the 2022 Engineering Trainee Award at the JHU DOM/WSE Research Retreat.
“Selection as a Siebel Scholar is among the highest honors one can receive as a PhD student, and no one could be more deserving than Paul,” said Spangler. “In addition to his brilliance, curiosity and creativity, Paul stands out in his commitment to mentorship and outreach. Throughout his graduate career, he has actively sought out opportunities to inspire and empower others to pursue their own passion for science and engineering.”
Sargunas has a strong belief in the power of mentorship and making STEM accessible. In the lab, Sargunas has mentored three undergraduates, one rotation student, and numerous PhD students. Outside the lab, he volunteers for numerous middle- and high-school robotics competitions, as well as for Open Insulin, a Baltimore volunteer-run organization working to use molecular biology to develop affordable, high-quality insulin to those in need.
Since its founding in 2000, the Siebel Scholarship has been awarded to 75 Johns Hopkins graduate students. Each year, around 100 scholars are selected from leading graduate schools to join a community of nearly 2,000 researchers, scholars, and entrepreneurs. Recipients receive a $35,000 award to support their final year of studies. Additionally, they are invited to attend annual conferences to discuss global issues alongside heads of state, scientists, and other experts seeking solutions to the world’s most complex and pressing problems.