Charles Ezenwanne is a Senior at Montclair State University majoring in Molecular Biology and minoring in Chemistry. Charles immigrated to the U.S with his parents at the age of 5 and is a New Jersey resident. Charles is a scholar of the Health Careers Program, and a mentor for LSAMP at Montclair State University. Charles took advantage of opportunities beginning in his freshman year, working with Dr. Ann Marie DiLorenzo, Professor of Biology, and her graduate research students. Her team was studying the effects of heavy metals from the World Trade Center on in vitro human lung cells. At the end of his Sophomore year, Charles developed a research proposal studying the anti-cancer properties of Methylsulfonylmethane. This proposal received an award from the Wehner Research Committee at MSU to begin his two year research project. He continued this work under the mentorship of Dr. DiLorenzo.
Charles believes his creative and promising research project helped him receive two national awards. First, a $5,000 DOORS award from the Promega Corporation which was designed to promote underrepresented minorities in science. Charles was one of 10 awardees selected nationally for this scholarship. The second award was the ToxMSDT Award from the Society of Toxicology for a skills development training program. Charles will be flown out to California to attend the annual Society of Toxicology conference in March. Charles was one of the 25 awardees selected nationally for this program. Through both of these programs Charles will be receiving one-on-one mentoring and advice from industry leaders and professionals.
Charles’ research team has grown adding both mentors and colleagues. Dr. Ulrich and Mary Lou Gubler have joined Charles as mentors for the more molecular aspects of his research project. Both are retired scientists from the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann LaRoche. This year Zachary Bonelli, a senior Biochemistry major, has joined the team as Charles’ research partner and right-hand man.
Charles and his team hope that their findings help lead to innovative therapeutic treatments through the use of nutraceutical supplements. Charles Plans to apply to medical school to become a physician in the future.