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Robert Hayden '14 in Scandinavia
Robert Hayden '14 in Scandinavia

Robert Hayden ’14 Awarded Fulbright Grant to Copenhagen

He'll Conduct Biomedical Research With Copenhagen Hepatitis C (CO-HEP) Program

By Holly Foster
Posted May 7, 2014
Tags Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Fellowships and Scholarships Fulbright Grant Off-campus study Sciences Students

Robert Hayden ’14 has been awarded a research/study Fulbright Grant to Copenhagen, Denmark. He will spend the 2014-15 academic year studying epidemiology and the development of medicines, and apply that coursework to biomedical research with the Copenhagen Hepatitis C (CO-HEP) Program group under the direction of Professor Jens Bukh. Hayden is a biochemistry and molecular biology major at Hamilton.

In his application Hayden noted “epidemiology and medical research are remarkably efficient in Denmark due to the unique healthcare system.” His comprehensive project “will offer critical perspectives in this era of NIH budget cuts and turbulent American politics.”

Dr. Jens Bukh, professor of immunology and microbiology, is the principal investigator of the CO-HEP lab at Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre. CO-HEP is a leading hepatitis C research group in Europe, and Denmark’s socialized and centralized health care system equips the nation’s medical researchers with many uncommon but efficient epidemiological tools.

According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 3 percent of the world’s population (170 million people), and there is currently no HCV vaccine available.

Hayden received an Edward and Virginia Taylor Grant for student/faculty chemistry research in 2011. He was co-author on a paper with Associate Professor of Chemistry Myriam Cotten, “High-Resolution Structures and Orientations of Antimicrobial Peptides Piscidin 1 and Piscidin 3 in Fluid Bilayers Reveal Tilting, Kinking, and Bilayer Immersion,” published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society earlier this year. He was also co-author of two structures published in the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB).  Hayden presented a poster at the national Biophysical Society Meeting in 2012.

During the summer of 2013 Hayden conducted hepatitis C research under Dr. Margaret Scull and Professor Charles Rice at Rockefeller University in New York City. Through a 2012 summer program at the University of Rochester, he worked with Professor Harold Smith and Dr. Ryan Bennett at OyaGen, Inc. to develop HIV drug-screening assays and to characterize HIV protein interactions.

Hayden studied abroad in Copenhagen in 2013. At Hamilton he has served as a Quantitative Literacy Center tutor and as a teaching assistant for general chemistry and biochemistry. A Dean’s List student, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in February. Hayden is a Hamilton Emergency Medical Services volunteer, and he has competed on the men’s cross country team and the marathon canoe racing team.

Upon his return to the U.S., Hayden plans to attend medical school. He is the son of Laura Hayden and George Hayden of Rochester and a graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study abroad for one academic year.   The purpose of the Fulbright Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The program is designed to give recent college graduates opportunities for personal development and international experience.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by Congress to the Department of State. The U.S. Student Program awards approximately 900 grants annually and currently operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

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