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International Recognition, Awards, Scholarships Mark Graduate's Extraordinary Accomplishments

May 7, 1999 -- If there is an ideal Jeffersonian student at the University of Virginia -- one who represents Thomas Jefferson's breadth of interests and goals in creating the Academical Village -- it must be Allan Frederick Moore. Rarely has an undergraduate accomplished so much in so many fields in so little time.

Although only 21 when he receives his Bachelor of Arts in government and foreign affairs on May 23, Moore has a résumé to rival that of a research professor. Through independent research on the molecular basis of hypertension that he began his first year, Moore has co-authored four articles in a national journal, has two papers in press for another national publication and has presented his findings at international medical conferences in London, Mexico City, Chicago and Charlottesville.

His remarkable journey into medical research began when, as a first-year student, he

e-mailed Dr. Robert M. Carey, dean of U.Va's School of Medicine, to inquire if there were opportunities to work in a laboratory. "I really didn't expect him to return my e-mail. I would have been happy just to clean test tubes," Moore said. Much to his surprise, Carey offered him a job working 10 hours a week in a lab where researchers are working to localize and sequence a receptor in the body that lowers blood pressure.

During Moore's second year in the lab, he became assistant to a research fellow on the project. The collaborators published three papers on their findings in the medical journal "Hypertension," and Moore presented a description of the work at two international conferences.

By the summer of his third year, Moore had gained his own research project -- an opportunity that has allowed him to design protocols, establish a budget and recruit help. Having a third-year student raised to the level of research fellow in charge of his own project is rare, Carey said.

"In a very short time, Allan was able to understand the problem, formulate a hypothesis and test it experimentally using difficult techniques. He has a natural drive for new discovery," Carey said.

Moore's accomplishments in medical research are even more remarkable considering he's a government and foreign affairs major -- a major he stumbled into because of the lure of free food. "A friend urged me to attend an information meeting on the government honors program, pointing out that there would be free food. There I met Larry Sabato. I've never seen anyone connect so well with students. I'd never taken a government class before at U.Va., but I went to his office and said, 'whatever you're teaching, I'm taking,'" Moore said.

Sabato, the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, had no hesitations in accepting Moore, both a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, into the highly competitive honors program.

Even among the nine students in the program, Moore stands out, Sabato said. Last year Moore was named one of 77 Truman Scholars in the country -- a $30,000 award that will be used for pursuing advanced education. As part of the scholarship competition, Moore presented a plan to address cardiovascular health disease in America; his plan proposes establishing centers for cardiovascular excellence at research sites nationwide.

Moore is convinced his unusual, self-designed undergraduate program combining government and science helped him win the scholarship. "The honors program has taught me to write well and to make an argument well. I've learned that there are always two sides to every issue, and the answer is always in the gray area in between," he said.

Additional awards Moore received this year include being named to the USA Today All-American Team, winning the Catherine Underwood Scholarship, given to U.Va.students who excel in leadership, and receiving the Soper Award, given to a top fourth-year student who represents the ideals of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Society of the Purple Shadows, a U.Va. secret society that recognizes academic achievement and service, presented him an award.

Other accomplishments include making the Dean's List for four years, receiving the College's 1997 Academic Achievement Award and gaining a Lawn room. He has been inducted into the Raven Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, Golden Key National Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

When asked how he's managed to accomplish so much, Moore observed wryly, "I haven't gone to any fraternity parties." On a more serious note, he added, "If I'm not working hard, I'm not happy. I don't feel like the long hours are a sacrifice. I like a job well done."

Of his accomplishments to date, Moore is particularly proud of starting and directing the Grand Finale Tutoring Program in his hometown of Danville. Wanting to do something for his alma mater, George Washington High School, he started a program that pairs college students with

high school seniors in danger of not graduating. Now in its third year, the program has grown from helping three to 22 students. Many of the high school students, who started the tutoring sessions with averages in the 50s and 60s, not only graduated from high school, but have pursued higher education. The program has gained funding from the Danville Kiwanis Club.

At U.Va., Moore was program director for Madison House's Group Projects, which helps community organizations with special activities. He was also a volunteer coach for the SOCA organization, a guide with the Albemarle County Historical Society and a representative on the Virginia Youth Service Council. An active member of the Honor Council, Moore also served as a council liaison to the Governor's Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism.

Sabato has found Moore to excel in every endeavor. "Given Allan's interest in science, I hope he will concentrate on finding a way to clone himself," said Sabato. "His accomplishments in both his chosen fields, government and medicine, are truly astounding. This young man has an unlimited future."

After leaving U.Va., Moore will attend Vanderbilt University Medical School, where he plans to pursue an interest in surgery. Although he has delighted in his U.Va. experiences, Moore is ready for the change. "I need to leave because I'm in a position of comfort. I need to be scared again," he said.

For more information, contact Allan Moore through May 17 at (804) 243-2339 or afm3b@virginia.edu.

Contact: Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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