A USF St. Petersburg student has won a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and plans to use it to study malaria in West Africa.
Tanjim “TJ” Hossain is the first USF St. Petersburg student to win the fellowship, which provides a $30,000 annual stipend and free tuition. Hossain hopes to pursue a Ph.D at the University of Miami in the fall. For 2013, NSF received 13,000 applications and awarded about 2,000 nationally. Since its inception in 1952, this program has supported over 30 Nobel laureates and 440 members of the National Academy of Science.
Hossain, an environmental science major, joined the USFSP Honors Program as a freshman and will graduate next month. Born in Bangladesh, he moved with his parents to Orlando when he was two and graduated from Cypress Creek High School. He is a member of the STREAMS (Supporting Talented and Remarkable Environmental and Marine Science Students) program, also supported by NSF, and has worked for the USDA for the past three summers studying invasive species in Tallahassee and Missouri.
He plans to launch a research project in Mali to study environmentally sensitive ways to control malaria in the West African nation. Malaria is a major problem in sub-Saharan Africa, killing 1 million people a year. It is particularly deadly among infants, he says.
“This fellowship is a lifetime door-opener for anyone pursuing a career or passion in the hard sciences,’’ Hossain said. “It’s a credit to the excellent quality of education offered by USFSP that NSF would consider this award – top notch professors and classes both in the Honors Program and throughout this institution made this possible.”
Norine Noonan, Ph.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the fellowship is an honor for TJ as well as USFSP. “I am so proud of TJ and the great work he has done at USF St. Petersburg,” said Norine Noonan, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and STREAMS principal investigator. “He has a very bright future and I believe he will make major contributions to science over the course of his career.”