Michael Bamimore, a senior biology major at Rutgers University–Camden and a Belleville resident, has been awarded the prestigious Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
As one of 43 fellowship recipients from across the country, Bamimore has an opportunity to present his research at the 2016 ASM Microbe Meeting in Boston and will receive a $4,000 stipend to continue his research on Caulobacter crescentus bacteria, widely found in fresh water lakes and streams.
“I’m very excited to have this opportunity to continue my research and realize my goals through this fellowship,” Bamimore says.
With more than 39,000 scientists and health professionals, the American Society for Microbiology promotes and advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, and educational opportunities. Its highly competitive Undergraduate Research Fellowship is aimed at students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in microbiology.
Through the fellowship, Bamimore will conduct research on the regulation of bacterial cell shape at Rutgers–Camden under the guidance of Eric Klein, an assistant professor of biology at Rutgers–Camden and a member of the American Society for Microbiology.
“The research has helped me in a lot of ways,” Bamimore says. “Coming to Rutgers–Camden was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I get to do research with a mentor one-on-one, and if I didn’t come here, I may have chosen to study something entirely different. It’s given me a way to think critically and find solutions on my own. I’ve accomplished things in the past year that I thought I’d never be able to do.”
Bamimore, who is a native of Ijabe in Osun State, Nigeria, says he hopes to one day become a doctor — his dream since he was a child — and return to his home country to help the people there.
“Kids play in and drink dirty water and play in streams where there bad microbes. There isn’t much thought to care for the people,” Bamimore says. “I want to educate people there about the environment and I want to one day establish a hospital there. That’s always been my dream. I’ve been working very hard towards that goal.”
He says he credits the support received from his family and his Rutgers–Camden experience, including his involvement in the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, with gaining leadership and community awareness experience.
He continues, “I don’t look at it in terms of how far away I am from achieving my goal. I look at it as how far I’ve already come. I believe that if you’re given an opportunity, you should give back to your community. Not a lot of people from my country have an opportunity to come to America and if they do, they don’t go back. My goal is to be able to go back and give back. It takes passion, determination, and motivation.”