Montana State University

MSU student awarded Phi Kappa Phi fellowship

May 5, 2010 -- Melynda Harrison, MSU News Service

Drago Guggiana, a triple major at Montana State University, was awarded a graduate fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Hughes)   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
A Montana State University senior was awarded a graduate fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi. The honor society awarded Drago Guggiana $5,000 for his first year of graduate study.

Guggiana, from Chile, is completing a triple major in chemical engineering, biochemistry and biotechnology this May.

"He is doing the kind of basic research as an undergraduate that we would expect from an advanced graduate student," said Thomas Hughes, cell biology and neuroscience department head. "He is an exceptional student, gifted in the laboratory and a really, really nice guy that goes out of his way to help out other students."

This fall Guggiana will begin a doctoral program in biophysics at Harvard University focusing on biomedical research.

"Since my mom is a doctor, I have always been interested in medicine," Guggiana said. "Research is my thing, so combining that with medicine gives me the chance to tackle human issues from the molecular side."

Guggiana came to MSU after attending a graduate student workshop at his university in Chile. The workshop was affiliated with MSU's Center for Biofilm Engineering and gave Guggiana the opportunity to meet some of MSU's faculty.

In addition to his studies, Guggiana volunteers in the community to advance public understanding of science and engineering. He shares his love of science at Science Saturdays, put on by the Center for Bio-Inspired NanoMaterials at MSU. The program provides an opportunity for children to learn about new science projects at MSU and to meet the scientists and MSU students who are shaping the future in Montana.

Guggiana credits his experience at MSU with helping him achieve the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship and entrance to Harvard University.

"MSU is really flexible and I could take extra classes and study exactly what I wanted," Guggiana said. "And the faculty support is just amazing."

Ilse-Mari Lee at 406-994-4689 or