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Scholar Spotlight: Michael Mills, PhD Candidate, Microbiology

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2022

2019-22 Herz Global Impact Scholar at the University of Georgia

The impact the Global Impact Award has had on my research is immense. I can now spend more time in the lab, without worrying about my finances. I am more productive in the lab than ever. I have also found that I am passionate about teaching and have been afforded the opportunity to pursue research in that arena.” - Michael Mills

Michael Mills, who grew up in Ghana, West Africa, earned his B.S. in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Georgia. During his undergraduate years, Michael worked for Synageva BioPharma Corp, a company that invented therapies to devastating rare diseases, and cultivated an interest in translating research into medicines to target diseases. He now pursues his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Georgia where he hopes to understand and develop medicines against the organisms involved in the neglected tropical disease, Lymphatic filariasis.

Michael shared that when he first received the Herz Global Impact Award, he felt a strong validation that his work was important. Additionally, the support has offered Michael the freedom to pursue his studies without financial burden. Prior to receiving the award, Michael lived an hour away from campus, in a house with six undergraduate students just to save money. The support of Joachim Herz Stiftung and ARCS Atlanta was pivotal in Michael’s ability to secure a mortgage and afford a down payment on a home five minutes from campus.

Michael is in the midst of completing his first author publication and is confident that it will have a positive impact on the research being performed on Lymphatic filariasis. He recently received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for 2020-2021, which recognizes teaching assistants who demonstrate superior teaching skills while serving in the classroom or laboratory.

Michael is in the process of completing his Ph.D. while also applying for post-doctoral roles in teaching research. An author on three publications and a former PREP@UGA Scholar, Michael also loves soccer, drawing, and teaching, and hopes to use his experiences in science to encourage more minority students to participate in the STEM fields.

  Michael Mills