Cell and Molecular Biology Student Set to Explore a Sea of Opportunities After Graduation

By Steve Neumann

Published on June 4, 2019

Norman FultangWhen Norman Fultang PhD’20 (Cell and Molecular Biology) came to USciences straight from undergrad with only a little research experience, he was worried that he would be out of his depth. But after taking a graduate biotechnology course with Zachary Klase, PhD, those fears were not only allayed but he turned them into possibility.  During his time at USciences, Fultang has been published research and been awarded a fellowship.

“That class did an incredible job of introducing me to techniques and concepts I needed to know to succeed here,” explains Fultang, “and the program has also awoken my interest in several fields I was unfamiliar with coming into the program, which I hope will open more doors.”

With an early interest in science and a family of doctors, nurse practitioners, and PhDs around him, Fultang always saw himself becoming a scientist in one form or another.

“But the whole biology thing really started when I majored in biology at Bowie State,” said Fultang. “I was initially interested in going to medical school, but I started doing research there and I really, really liked it.”

After getting his toes wet in undergrad, Fultang was thrown into the sea of graduate research at USciences, where he discovered he could swim just fine. One of his fondest experiences is his time as a graduate student instructor first-year biology students in the SEA-PHAGES program, where he helped students find and characterize their very own, genetically novel bacterial viruses.

“I didn't really know what to expect,” said Fultang, “but just being on that journey of discovery with the kids and going through all the normal troubles of research was really rewarding, and I absolutely enjoyed it.”

In addition to his role as a graduate student instructor, Fultang’s particular area of research has been chemoresistant breast cancer, for which Fultang and his principal investigators, Dr. Klase and Bela Peethambaran, PhD, isolated a new compound to selectively target it. That achievement led to Fultang receiving the Frederick B. Kilmer Fellowship, which supports a graduate student conducting research in pharmacology and plant chemistry at USciences.

“Being able to publish our findings and being awarded the fellowship is really an encouragement that my work means something and that people value the research that I do,” said Fultang. “To me, that’s the biggest value of all.”

Now that Fultang has gotten his sea legs at USciences, his next step would most like be a postdoctoral fellowship. After that, it’s an open sea all the way to the horizon.

“I'm really excited about what I do next,” said Fultang. “In the future, I would like to have my own lab and investigate the things I'm passionate about in whatever institution I'm able to do that.”

Categories: News, Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Biology, Student, Fellowship, Publication, Proven Everywhere