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Hunter McConnell presenting her research project at the Niblack Research Scholars day

13 students complete projects at Niblack Research Scholars Day

Monday, October 10, 2022

Media Contact: Harrison Hill | Senior Research Communications Specialist | 405-744-5827 |

For the 18th year in a row, Dr. John Niblack addressed a group of Oklahoma State University undergraduate researchers at the Niblack Research Scholars Day.

John Niblack
Dr. John Niblack spoke to a group of undergraduate researchers and faculty at the 18th Niblack Research Scholars day.

As he looked out at the crowd, he asked a simple question “Where do you go from here?”

The question was part of Niblack’s opening remarks to the 13 students completing their research projects funded through the Niblack Research Scholars program, as well as the 10 new students who are about to begin. 

“There is a whole world of science that is open to you that you have no idea about,” Niblack told the students.

During his remarks, Niblack went on to encourage the students to explore new things and continually make discoveries, cementing his point with a story about Dr. James Watson.

Watson started out bird-watching in Chicago with his father, so he studied ornithology in college. However, as his research interests changed and grew, he ended up in genetics, earning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for a paper identifying the double helix structure of DNA.

The Niblack Research Scholars program is supported by Niblack and his wife, Heidi, and provides scholarships to allow undergraduates a unique opportunity to perform cutting-edge research in various fields.

The $8,000 scholarship pairs students with both a faculty and a graduate student research mentor as they conduct real, life-impacting research. As part of the program, the students then present their findings at the Niblack Research Scholars Day.

Niblack left the students with one last piece of advice.

“Follow your curiosity and interests and you will have a fun and productive career,” Niblack said. “And good luck.”

About Dr. Niblack

Dr. John Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Illinois before becoming vice chairman of Pfizer Inc.

As a scientist for the international pharmaceutical company, he was responsible for Pfizer's Global Research and Development Division, where he directed research into drugs for viral illnesses, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Learn more about the Niblack Research Scholars program  here.

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