Emma McDougal and Lara Stefani receive DAAD Rise Germany awards

Lara Stefani and Emma McDougal
Lara Stefani, left, and Emma McDougal, right, are participataing in the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) Program

May 24, 2024

Emma McDougal and Lara Stefani conduct their own research at the University of Missouri. Now, these two undergraduate students are elevating their work with a trip to Germany this summer through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) Program. As DAAD RISE recipients, McDougal and Stefani will glean both lab experience and an opportunity to test their ideas in a fresh environment.

For McDougal, a junior chemical engineering major who works under the mentorship of Bret Ulery, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Mizzou, the DAAD RISE program offers a unique avenue to pursue her research on targeted peptide delivery. This work involves the development of therapeutics that target a person’s immune response to prevent or treat infectious diseases and cancer. McDougal, also a Stamps Scholar at MU, will conduct her research at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

“I am incredibly excited to get started,” McDougal said. “Something that excites me about this opportunity is getting to learn about the working culture of German research. It will be really interesting to see how general cultural differences translate to difference in workplace culture.”

Sophomore Lara Stefani, a graduate of the Dual Diploma Program offered through Mizzou Academy that brought her to Mizzou from her home in São Paulo, Brazil, has built an impressive research portfolio so far. As part of the Freshmen Research in Plants (FRIPS) Program during her first semester, Stefani has spent years working on the contribution of adipose secretion products to posttraumatic immune responses and organ dysfunction.

“The process made me reflect a lot on my motivation to do research, what I want to achieve with it and my experiences so far,” Stefani said. “I also reflected on what I still haven’t had the chance to explore and what I want my learning priorities to be from now on.”

Both scholars, who are each pursuing the Honors Certificate at MU, worked closely with the Office of Global and National Fellowships on the application for the award and in preparation for their trip to Germany.

Read more from the Honors College

Subscribe to

Show Me Mizzou

Stay up-to-date with the latest news by subscribing to the Show Me Mizzou newsletter.