The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) seeks to support the brightest scholars and most accomplished undergraduate researchers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) while commemorating the legacy of America’s pioneering astronauts. The ASF has supported undergraduate students across the nation in pursuing their education for more than 30 years. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award is one of the most significant merit-based scholarships in STEM fields that can be awarded to an undergraduate. Students must be nominated by faculty based on achievements in their chosen field. Out of a pool of 42 Universities, ASF typically chooses one recipient from each school. However, Texas A&M undergraduate students have proved to be incredibly strong candidates and ASF has awarded scholarships to multiple A&M students in the past. 

Cody Martin is a junior Biochemistry and Genetics double major and Bioinformatics and Statistics double minor, from Red Oak, Texas. Cody has been conducting his research in Dr. Ry Young’s lab, studying how bacteriophages escape from the host cell after infection, a process called lysis. Cody’s Undergraduate Research Scholars thesis described his studies on a new type of lysis protein, and he currently works on the regulation of an unusual gradual lysis system and its evolutionary origin. As a freshman, Cody was selected to be an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Scholar, one of only two freshmen so designated that year. He recently was awarded a Barry Goldwater Scholar, a prestigious National Fellowship for undergraduates that show extraordinary potential for STEM research careers. In his free time, Cody participates in the Biochemistry and Genetics Society and has been a leader in the Freshman Leadership Experience for the past three years. He plans to attend a PhD program related to microbiology or molecular biology to pursue a career using bacterial systems as a model for molecular evolution. Congratulations, Cody!