Skip to main content

Catherine “Cat” Merrill


Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical emphasis, and minors in Chemistry and Applied Data Science

Future Plans: Become a biomedical researcher to improve outcomes for cancer survivors.

Honored Faculty: Dr. Don Warner, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

After starting her academic career at the College of Western Idaho, Cat won a National Institutes of Health Bridges to Baccalaureate Fellowship for undergraduate research. Driven by her mother’s struggle with breast cancer, she worked in Dr. Don Warner’s lab, which aims to develop a new drug to reduce the metastasis of breast cancer. She took the initiative and started her own computational branch of the research project. Her studies predicted a drug’s

efficacy before it would be synthesized and tested, speeding up the drug development process. Cat has also worked in Dr. Buerki’s lab studying the genetics of sagebrush, and Dr. Cornell’s lab studying the use of cold plasma devices. On her work, Cat has given multiple presentations and was awarded first place at the INBRE conference Fast Pitch competition.

Cat is passionate about helping others succeed in science. As one of the leaders of the Chemistry Club, Cat helped reinvigorate the club: she ran events that increased club engagement, raised funds to send undergraduate researchers to the National American Chemical Society conference, and wowed audience members alongside “edutainer” Dr. Picklestein. Cat mentored students of science at Boise State University, the College of Western Idaho, and Hawthorne Elementary School. These experiences have fueled her desire to facilitate scientific achievement in her community.

She also brought her passion to the Boise State University Service-Learning program. Last year, she participated in the Animal Advocacy Alternative Spring Break. She loved her service experience so much that this year, she helped create a Student-Leader position for the program.

Cat is from Boise, Idaho.

Scholarships and Awards: National Institutes of Health Southwestern Idaho Bridges to Baccalaureate Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Morley Nelson Biology Scholarship, Dr. John and Lois Kloss Data Science and Medicine Scholarship, D.J. Obee Biology Scholarship, Russell J. Centanni Biology Scholarship, Dean’s Transfer Scholarship, Dean’s List, First Place Fast Pitch at INBRE Summer Research Conference

What is a top ten scholar

Presented by the Boise State Alumni Association and Boise State Honors College, the Top Ten Scholar Award is one of the highest academic honors granted to a Boise State University undergraduate student. Each spring the recipients are recognized, along with their honored faculty, at the annual Top Ten Scholars Award Ceremony.

Meet Other Top Ten Scholars

Support Student Excellence

The Boise State Alumni Association connects, celebrates and engages alumni and friends of the University to build lifelong relationships that support the future of our University. As part of our guiding values, we as alumni and your association, support students through several scholarships managed by the alumni association. Become a scholarship donor to support future members of the Bronco Family.

Become a donor to support student excellence at Boise State.