Marshall Scholar Anticipates New Point of View

June 22, 2004

Heather Heilman
Phone: (504) 865-5714

I'm truly my parent's child," said Jason Mellad, a new Tulane College graduate and Marshall Scholar. His father is a researcher and administrator at Southern University in Baton Rouge and his mother is a social worker.

malladMellad spent his time at Tulane doing research and community service, which he identifies as his two passions.

As a high school student and budding researcher, Mellad was heavily recruited by several universities, but chose Tulane because it offered the chance to work in the laboratory of Darwin Prockop, director of the gene therapy center and an internationally respected scholar.

Since his freshman year, Mellad has been working on a mouse model to study how adult stem cells might alleviate heart disease.

He majored in chemistry and cell and molecular biology and has seen his work published in several papers. He graduated summa cum laude. Mellad also has been involved in tutoring projects and other community service activities and this year served as chair of the executive board of the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students (CACTUS).

His advisers at Tulane nominated him for the Marshall Scholarship because of his interest in studying outside of the United States. "I haven't been to very many places outside Louisiana," he said. "I'll be learning a whole new point of view."
The Marshall Scholarship is as competitive as a Rhodes Scholarship, though not as well-known. Both are given to American students for study at British universities. About 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded each year. This fall, Mellad will be attending Cambridge University, where he will continue to work on stem cell research.

At Cambridge, students live and study together within colleges. Mellad has chosen to become a member of King's College, which is known for its political activism and volunteer work. He's enrolled in a joint program of Cambridge and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

After two years of study in England, he will return to the United States to complete work for his PhD with three years of study at the NIH. He plans to pursue a career in academic research.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000