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Villanova Presidential Scholar Nicholas Ader Selected As Prestigious 2015 Marshall Scholar

Scholarship Will Support Ader’s post-graduate research in Molecular Biology and Neurobiology at the University of Cambridge, England 

Nicholas Ader

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University Presidential Scholar Nicholas Ader ’15 CLAS, a senior from Clarence Center, N.Y., has been named a 2015 recipient of the Marshall Scholarship, making him the second-ever Villanovan and one of less than 40 college students nationwide selected to win this prestigious honor. The award will support Ader's post-graduate research in molecular biology and neurobiology towards his PhD degree at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1953 by an Act of British Parliament, and named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and express the continuing gratitude of the British to Americans. The Marshall Scholarship is considered one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world.

“The entire Villanova community joins Nick [Ader] in celebrating his recognition as a Marshall Scholar, a prestigious honor recognized world-wide,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “Nick is most deserving of this distinguished honor and his plan to pursue important neurological research demonstrates his commitment to creating positive change in the world. We are excited to see what the future holds for him.”

Ader is a double major, currently pursuing degrees in Biology and Biochemistry. Since his freshman year, he has participated in multiple undergraduate research projects at Villanova, including looking at the effects of endocrine disruptive compounds in mice, and most recently, investigating Nrf2, a transcription factor involved in the regulation of oxidative stress. Ader’s research experience at Villanova led to his selection as a 2013 DAAD-RISE Scholar, allowing him to spend the summer of 2013 in Germany at the University of Lübeck where he researched optimization of RNA interference pathways. He was also awarded the 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in recognition of his commitment to research.

“Students like Nicholas Ader, who embody the Villanova mission through intellectual exploration and committed service to others, represent the very best of Villanova to the world,” said Jane Morris, Director of the University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF).  “We at CURF are so excited for Nick, and we are confident that he will make a wonderful ambassador for Villanova and the U.S. as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge.”

Ader is a genetics, organic chemistry and physics tutor for fellow Villanova students and he is co-chair of the Villanova chapter of Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless population by running with them to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.  He is a member of the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship Steering Committee which works to promote undergraduate on-campus research, and he is the program chair for the Villanova Presidential Scholars Executive Board. In addition, Ader is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Fraternity and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honors Fraternity. 

In the future, Ader plans to be at the forefront of basic neurological research into the root causes of neurodegenerative diseases linked to dementia. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Cambridge, he hopes to be a professor at a top research university and to continue to push the boundaries of neurological research into neurodegenerative diseases.

The Marshall Scholarship and other nationally competitive scholarship competitions are administered at Villanova University through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The Center also administers the Presidential Scholarship Program and maintains an ever-growing list of scholarships, fellowships, research grants, and internship opportunities for students to investigate.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.