VCU Engineering student selected as Young Scientist for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Biomedical engineering doctoral student Brooke Danielsson
Biomedical engineering student Brooke Danielsson

UPDATE 3/24/20: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 70th Nobel Laureate Meeting will now take place June 27-July 2, 2021.

Brooke Danielsson, a biomedical engineering doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been selected as one of 660 young researchers worldwide to serve as a Young Scientist at the 70th annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this summer in Lindau, Germany.

Danielsson was among thousands of applicants nominated from 101 countries by 200 academic partner organizations including Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), of which VCU is a member. Only 37 of the students selected as Young Scientists for this year’s meeting are American.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Daniel E. Conway, Ph.D., is Danielsson’s academic adviser.

“Brooke is a very outstanding graduate student who has already been tremendously successful, winning an National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship in her first year of graduate school,” Conway said. “I'm very excited that she was able to get this opportunity to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.”

Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin, Jr. Dean of VCU College of Engineering, agrees.  “Being a Lindau Young Scientist can be a life-changing experience. Not only do they interact with their global colleagues, broadening their view of scientific inquiry, but they learn how the world’s most distinguished and innovative thinkers pose questions and test their hypotheses.”

Nearly 70 Nobel laureates — a record number — are expected to attend the event held June 28 to July 4, 2020. The program offers a unique international exchange of ideas among scientists spanning different generations and cultures. All three Nobel Prize scientific disciplines will be represented at this year’s meeting: Chemistry, Physics and Physiology and Medicine. These interdisciplinary meetings occur every five years.

Danielsson said she was excited that she would be meeting with Ph.D. students and postdocs from a variety of fields. “It gives you more abilities to collaborate across disciplines beyond biomedical engineering,” she said. “That’s really exciting.” She was especially thrilled at the prospect of seeing Frances H. Arnold, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 for the directed evolution of enzymes.

Danielsson investigates how the nucleus in endothelial cells, which line the interior of blood vessels, responds to force. She is heavily involved with VCU Engineering’s community outreach efforts.