David L.V. Bauer, Macaulay Honors College Student At The City College of New York, Named Rhodes Scholar

November 24, 2008 | City College

NEW YORK, November 23, 2008 – David L.V. Bauer, a senior chemistry major from the Bronx in the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York (CCNY), has been named a 2009 Rhodes Scholar.

The award to Mr. Bauer, who won First Prize in the Intel Science Talent Search in 2005 while a student at Hunter College High School, culminates a string of prestigious national scholarship competitions he has won that also includes a Harry S. Truman Scholarship for Public Service earlier this year and a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2007.

As a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Bauer plans to conduct research in clinical medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (WTCHG) at the University of Oxford, where he worked during his junior year at CCNY.

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902. They bring outstanding students from many countries around the world, including 32 from the United States, to the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholars are elected for two years of study at Oxford, with the possibility of renewal for a third year.

Mr. Bauer is the second CCNY student and third City University (CUNY) student awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in the past five years. In 2004, Lev Sviridov, CCNY, ’05, who also majored in chemistry, and Eugene Shenderov, Brooklyn College, ’05, were selected. Past U.S. Rhodes Scholars include former President Bill Clinton (1968), former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J. (1965), and television news personality Rachel Maddow (1995).

“The word ‘extraordinary’ seems almost an understatement to describe David Bauer’s accomplishments at The City College of New York,” said CCNY President Dr. Gregory H. Williams in congratulating Mr. Bauer on becoming a Rhodes Scholar.

“Not only is he an outstanding student, but also a caring and committed member of our college community and society as a whole. He truly embodies the ideals of a City College education, achieving academic excellence and using one’s knowledge to make the world a better place.”

“I am ecstatic about being named a Rhodes Scholar because it will enable me to build upon the work I began at the Wellcome Trust Centre with Dr. Kalim Mir,” Mr. Bauer said. “Many people at Hunter College High School, CCNY, the Macaulay Honors College and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics have helped me along the way. I am grateful to all of them, especially my mentor at CCNY, Professor Kevin Ryan, and to Dr. Mir, at Oxford.”

During his junior at CCNY, Mr. Bauer spent 11 months at the Wellcome Trust Centre in Dr. Mir’s lab. There he created a computer program to analyze raw data from a new DNA sequencing approach that is now being using to analyze genetic changes related to cystic fibrosis and other diseases.

At CCNY, he conducted organic chemistry research towards the synthesis of aspirin analogues to explore aspirin’s anti-cancer properties. He also worked on the synthesis of difluoroaldehydes, compounds designed to trigger specific scent receptors, as part of a larger project to understand how the sense of smell works.

“I have always been drawn towards research that has potential for public benefit.” Mr. Bauer said. “My first experience in a lab as an 11th grader was working with quantum dots, which I thought were boring. When I learned they could target and illuminate cancerous tissue, the research became exciting because I had drawn a connection from what I was doing to the larger world.”

For his Intel Science Talent Search project at Hunter College High School, he used quantum dots to design a sensor to detect nerve gas exposure for first responders. He conducted his research in a laboratory at CCNY.

When he returns to Oxford after graduating from CCNY, Mr. Bauer plans to investigate developing a methodology for preparing DNA samples for single-molecule analysis. “Many novel methods have been developed for the actual analysis process of the single DNA molecules, but very little attention has been paid to how to fish out the single DNA molecules of interest from the complex “soup” of an actual sample of a person’s genetic material,” he explained.

In addition to the aforementioned Intel Prize and Goldwater and Truman Scholarships, Mr. Bauer’s honors include: the Macaulay Honors College Chancellor’s Award (2008) and the Creativity Foundation’s Legacy Award (2005).

At CCNY, he has maintained a 3.99 G.P.A. His extracurricular activities at the College include: vice president, president and co-president of the Baskerville Chemistry Society; chemistry workshop recitation instruction, and anchor for CUNY-TV’s “Study With the Best” series.

Outside the college, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Creativity Foundation and as a United Kingdom Science and Engineering Ambassador. He was appointed to these positions earlier this year. He also is the creator of United Liberia, a website that provides free access to Liberian media for expatriates, and serves as webmaster for a Hungarian tourism website.

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.