News Story

Biology alumnae Chloe Fishman (C ’20) and Olivia Gadson (C ’23) awarded with the NSF GRFP! 

This year, two Georgetown Biology alumnae, Chloe Fishman (C ’20) and Olivia Gadson (C ’23), were awarded with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious research grant for graduate students, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).  Founded in 1950, the NSF prioritizes funding basic science over medical research fields. According to the NSF, the goal of the GRFP is to promote the “quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States.” Researchers in the program receive a five-year fellowship alongside three years of financial backing.

During her time at Georgetown, Chloe Fishman majored in biology with a minor in science, technology, and international affairs (STIA). As an undergraduate student, she joined the lab of Dr. Sarah Johnson, a renowned leader in astrobiology whose work focuses on the presence and preservation of biosignatures in the harsh environments of other planets. In the lab, Fishman studied the survival of microbes in unforgiving ecosystems on Earth, working to understand how life might persist in similar environments in space. She plans to use her experience researching microbial survival as a foundation for graduate research on antibiotic resistance, and she recently began a Ph.D. program in bioscience at Rockefeller University. Congratulations and good luck, Chloe!

Olivia Gadson graduated this past spring with a degree in biology and a minor in history. While an undergrad at Georgetown, she divided her time between the Johnson Biosignatures Lab and the paleobiology department at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, studying a special phylum of organisms that she became interested in during high school: foraminifera, a class of single-celled amoeboid protists with strong carbonate shells for protection. These shells have ensured that foraminifera have a complete fossil record, allowing researchers like Gadson to study their compositions in different climate periods. Now beginning a Ph.D. in earth and planetary science, she plans to build upon her work and study oxygen isotopes in these fossilized shells. Congratulations Olivia, and good luck!

To read more about Chloe, Olivia, and the other 3 winners from the College of Arts and Sciences, visit (new window)