Real Research — Real Rewards

Biology major Quincy Jones and two other undergraduates were awarded prestigious Merck Fellowships for their research on aging and the brain.

Like all respectful award winners, senior Quincy Jones, one of three new UNCF Merck Fellows at UAB, would like to thank the people who helped him win.

UNCF Merck Undergraduate Research Fellows. UNCF Merck Undergraduate Research Fellows. From left, Quincy Jones, Donovan White, and Ophelia Johnson.“I work in the lab of Dr. Lori McMahon in the Department of Cellular Development and Integrative Biology,” Jones explains. “In Dr. McMahon's lab, I have been studying Alzheimer's disease — specifically, cholinergic innervation of the hippocampus, an important region of the brain in which learning and memory formation takes place. Dr. McMahon has taught me so much. And I’ve also had a lot of help and training from Amy Nelson, a former graduate student in Dr. McMahon's lab who completed her PhD in neuroscience.”

Jones, along with Donovan White and Ophelia Johnson, two biomedical engineering majors, were named UNCF Merck Fellows back in the spring, and each was awarded a summer research internship and $25,000. Since late May, Jones has been at Duke University working in the lab of Dr. Cynthia Kuhn in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. His summer project focuses on alcohol dependency in adolescent rats as a means to compare adolescent addiction to adult addiction.

In addition to the mentors he’s found in the laboratory, Jones, who is also a UAB Ambassador and president of the Alabama Alliance for Healthy Youth at UAB, says that his participation in Honors College has also been a big contributor to his success. “I attribute so much to [the Honors College Science and Technology] program because it has definitely played a large role in my undergraduate research experience over the past few years,” Jones says. “I consider that to be one of the fundamental reasons why I was selected for this national award.”