Dr. Nate Montgomery became one of the top doctoral students in genetics and molecular biology in the country after finding his passion for science at North Central College, a small liberal arts college in Naperville, Illinois, where he came to run cross country and learn to be a journalist, but earned a degree in biology. In a freshman cell biology class, he actually needed remedial help but fell in love with molecular biology.
Guided by a young professor with an interest in researching yeast genetics, Montgomery learned an approach to science that served him well as a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. So successful was this young scientist that he won a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship valued at $200,000, and received the Kenan/Edwards-Hobgood Fellowship at UNC. Nate is now pursuing another path in the sciences: he enrolled in the UNC School of Medicine and anticipates graduating in 2011.