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Isabelle Logan with Chris and Kate Mathews standing outside campus

Isabelle Logan named 2017 Mathews Graduate Fellow

By Debbie Farris

(left to right) Christopher Mathews, Isabelle Logan, Catherine Mathews

Congratulations to doctoral student Isabelle Logan who was selected as the 2017-18 Christopher and Catherine Mathews Graduate Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics. She was chosen among many talented first year students and is the third woman scientist to receive the honor.

This endowed fellowship was established in 2015 through the generosity of Chris and Kate Mathews to help recruit and retain top notch students for the Biochemistry & Biophysics doctoral program. The gift has been leveraged through the Provost Graduate Fellowship Match Program, which is a partnership between the OSU Foundation, the Biochemistry & Biophysics Department and The Graduate School.

Not only have Chris and Kate supported graduate students through this gift, but Chris has provided a tremendous positive influence on both the Biochemistry & Biophysics Department and its doctoral program through his leadership as Chair for nearly 25 years, his extensive research in the area of nucleotide metabolism, his co-authoring of a highly regarded biochemistry textbook and his longstanding role as a mentor, teacher and colleague who continues to contribute every day to the ongoing mission of the department.

This Fellowship is awarded each summer to a student entering the second year of the Ph.D. program, and is based upon academic merit, teaching acumen and research potential.

This year’s awardee, Isabelle Logan, was born in Leuven, Belgium. Upon moving to the United States, she settled in central Oregon. She completed her Associate degree in biology at Central Oregon Community College and then transferred to Portland State University, where she majored in chemistry with an option in biochemistry and pursue a bachelor of science degree. There Isabelle received her first research experience studying oxyhalogen-sulfur chemistry, which helped her develop an appreciation of the world of physical chemistry.

Isabelle’s research led to the development of her honors thesis, as part of Portland State’s Urban Honors College, where she successfully identified the kinetics and products of oxidation of a tuberculosis drug. As an undergraduate, she developed a passion for mentoring others, actively participated in outreach programs and served as an undergraduate research assistant.

“I am proud of Isabelle on this well-deserved honor,” said Andy Karplus, Chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics. “I am grateful to Chris and Kate for their highly impactful support of our program.

Upon graduation, Isabelle moved to Corvallis to begin work toward her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State in Dr. Gombart’s Lab. Currently, she is developing a reporter assay for high-throughput screening to identify farnesoid X receptor ligands from botanical extracts and isolated prenylated flavonoids with the ultimate goal of discovering natural compounds to prevent and/or treat obesity and metabolic syndrome. She is also studying the role of vitamin D, the immune system and microbiota composition on gut barrier function, inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome.

Isabelle is also a graduate teaching assistant in the department.

The College of Science is extremely grateful to both Chris and Kate Mathews for their generous support of the Biochemistry and Biophysics graduate program.