When Ryan Limbocker entered college at the University of Kansas, he was convinced his future career would be in medicine. His dream was to help those afflicted by neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. It wasn’t until Ryan’s freshman year when he took two chemistry courses and began undergraduate research that Ryan realized his passion lied in investigating the molecular origins and fundamental science underpinning disease.

For four years, Ryan worked in a research group which studied the way chemotherapy treatment alters the ability of the brain to communicate using neurotransmitters. It was during this research endeavor that he applied for the Goldwater Scholarship. He believes the application process prepared him very well to apply for graduate school and says, “receiving the award was an honor that opened up the possibility of going to the best graduate programs in the world.”

Ryan currently attends the University of Cambridge and works in the Centre for Misfolding Diseases to better understand the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. His goal is to explore how Alzheimer’s disease develops at the molecular level and develop therapeutics to halt the progression of the disease. Ryan’s degree is funded by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and he is “certain the Goldwater Scholarship was a key distinction” that enabled his success.