Wayne Cottle -2016 Goldwater Scholar, University of San Diego

“I can’t think of a more rewarding or exciting career than research,” says senior biochemistry and music major Wayne Cottle of the University of San Diego “There are so many unanswered questions about human biology and I want to help find the answers to them.”

After three summers of research on inflammatory protein folding kinetics at UCSD, Wayne was hooked on research. He then worked for four years characterizing specific protein interactions that facilitate tumor survival and metastasis in lung cancer. Looking back on his education, he notes, “conducting impactful research under an influential mentor at the University of San Diego motivated me to earn a PhD. Being recognized among many talented students as a Goldwater Scholar has validated this decision.” As an undergraduate Wayne has presented at numerous national meetings, been recognized as a Beckman Scholar, and was inducted into the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Honors Society as a sophomore.

In pursuing graduate education, Wayne will be the first member of his family to earn a PhD. Coming from a Cuban family who immigrated to the United States, Wayne understands the importance of determination and perseverance. His grandparents worked night and day after immigrating to provide their family with the chance at a better life; their sacrifice fuels Wayne’s desire to provide others in science with similar inspiration.

Wayne also recognizes the importance of being well rounded. When not in the lab, you will likely find him performing. On the side, Wayne is a cellist and vocalist who performs professionally for events around San Diego. He is also the assistant conductor for the USD Choral Scholars, an elite chamber choir. In 2017, he made his international debut, performing with the Choral Scholars on their tour of Bruges, Brussels and Koln, Germany. Eventually Wayne hopes to have a music studio of his own where he can teach cello.

“Applying for the Goldwater Scholarship helped me articulate my goals and now I see them coming to fruition,” says Wayne. Wayne will attend Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he will earn his PhD in Biochemistry. With this, he hopes to develop novel applications for biochemical systems and study the cellular mechanisms of aging and disease progression.