South Charlotte

Young scientist, 20, pursues doctorate

Elite young athletes know about laurels. It's easy to see who is best on the field.

But young scholars tend to be less "out there."

Russell Jampol, 20, is one such scholar. This quiet, intellectual young man has been turning heads in the classroom for years.

This August, Jampol will take on a higher challenge as he moves to Atlanta to pursue a doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Georgia Tech.

Jampol, son of Stephen and Patrice Jampol of Charlotte's Hugh Forest subdivision, is a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools lifer. His curriculum vitae include perfect-grade performances at Olde Providence Elementary and South Charlotte Middle, as well as Providence High School, where he graduated in 2008.

During his academic career at CMS he never received less than an A in graded classes. He took six AP classes, all math and science, and got the top score - a five - in each.

Armed with this stellar academic record, Jampol headed to college at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Chemical and biomolecular engineering was his choice of majors because it included all his favorites - math, chemistry, biology and physics.

"I was always good at math. I liked using math in science. I thought it could end up being a job for me," said Jampol.

Research is the building block for young intellectuals, and Jampol is no slouch in that area. He spent a summer honing his bench skills and learning research protocols in a lab at Johns Hopkins, working on glycol engineering. His principal investigation was researching how glycosylation regulates ion channels to control nervous-system function.

Jampol graduated in May in three years, due to all his AP credits, with his bachelor of science degree.

Because of his impressive work in the lab, he received a departmental award for the best chemical and biomolecular engineering researcher.

At Georgia Tech, his doctorate should take him about five challenging but enlightening years to complete.

So is Jampol all work and no play? Not a chance.

"I like to run and work out," he said.

True to his work ethic and drive, he ran in the 2010 Baltimore half-marathon and came in third for the 20- to 24-year-old age group with a time of 1:32.23.

"My parents didn't ever push or cajole," said Jampol when asked where his motivation comes from.

Which goes to show that whether it's that dynamo on the playing field or the quiet kid who ends up valedictorian, talent is born, not made.

Jampol, the quiet young scholar, will be making a name in science.