News in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Shannon Owens Receives 2017-2019 Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA F31

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Shannon Owens. Shannon received the 2017-2019 Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) F31. The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. Shannon's research focuses on the nature, function, and mechanism of recombination-associated DNA synthesis during meiosis.

BMCDB Students Receive 2017 NIH T32 Training Grant in MCB

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students: Arvind Arul Nambi Rajan, Daisy Castillo Guzman, Helen Lamb, Linda Ma, and Sharon Lee. These students received the 2017 NIH T32 Training Grant in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Stephanie Cevallos Receives 2017 NIH T32 Training Grant in Animal Models of Infectious Disease

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Stephanie Cevallos. Stephanie received an NIH T32 training grant in Animal Models of Infectious Disease.

Shanaya Shah Receives 2017 GSR Summer Research Award

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Shanaya Shah. Shanaya was awarded a 2017 GSR Summer Research Award. The summer research award supports graduate research in engineering, computer sciences, and disciplines with engineering-related applications and methods.

Neeraj Lal and Prema Karunanithi Receive 2017 Dean's Mentorship Award

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Neeraj Lal and Prema Karunanithi. Both students received the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences Dean's Mentorship Award for demonstrating excellence in the mentorship of undergraduate students. The award was made possible by the Dean's Circle Annual Fund.

Neeraj Lal also received the Plant Biology Russell Fellowship.

Lindsay Fague and Adam Miltner Receive 2017 NIH T32 Training Grant from the National Eye Institute

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Lindsay Fague and Adam Miltner. Lindsay and Adam received the 2017 NIH T32 Training Grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI). The primary goal of this training program is to provide trainees a rigorous foundation in both the fundamental scientific basis and the clinical relevance of vision science, in order to broaden the perspective and skills of future vision scientists.

Charles Mordaunt Selected As A Laureate for French-American Doctoral Exchange Program (FADEx)

Congratulations are due to Charles Mordaunt. Charles was selected as a laureate for the French-American Doctoral Exchange Program (FADEx). This program aims to enhance scientific exchange between American and French Ph.D students working in the same field of research in order to encourage the development of French-American collaborations.

Briana Gregg Receives ASCB COMPASS grant

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Briana Gregg. Briana was awarded an ASCB Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) Outreach Grant. This grant provides funds to ASCB members to promote science outreach projects - like visits to labs for students, organizing science fairs, or any other ideas for engaging the public. 

Briana also received the Floyd and Mary Schwall Fellowship in Medical Research.

BMCDB Students Receive 2016-2018 NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students: Linda Ma, Sharon Lee, and Frank Leon. These students received the 2016-2018 NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship.

Kacey VanderVorst Receives 2016-2019 Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA F31

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Kacey VanderVorst. Kacey received the 2016-2019 Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) F31. The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. Kacey's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms associated with breast cancer metastasis. Specifically, Kacey is investigating the contribution of non-canonical Wnt signaling to breast cancer cell invasion and migration using in vitro and in vivo approaches.

BMCDB Alum, Won Chan Oh, publishes first author Science paper from his postdoc

Congratulations are due to Won Chan Oh, a BMCDB alum from Dr. Karen Zito's lab, for publishing a first author Science paper from his postdoc. Here is a link to the paper:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/08/10/science.aaf5206.full.pdf+html

Anastasia Berg and Glyn Noguchi Receive 2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in Pharmacology

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students: Anastasia Berg and Glyn Noguchi. Anastasia and Glyn received the 2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in Pharmacology.

BMCDB Students Receive 2016 NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students: Rebecca Blandino, Daisy Castillo Guzman, and Vanessa Cervantes. These students received the NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Fellowship.

BMCDB Students Receive 2016-2018 NIH T32 Training Grant in MCB

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students: Bryan Teefy, Marcus Moreno, Dean Natwick, and Rebecka Sepela. These students received the 2016-2018 NIH T32 Training Grant in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Akhila Bettadapur Receives 2016-2017 NIH T32 Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology

Congratulations are due to BMCBD student Akhila Bettadapur. Akhila received the  NIH T32 Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology for 2016-2017.

Luis Eduardo Contreras Llano Receives UC MEXUS-CONACYT Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Luis Eduardo Contreras Llano. Luis received the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Fellowship 2016-2020.

Javier Garcia Receives NSF Undergraduate Preparation Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Javier Garcia. Javier received a NSF Undergraduate Preparation Fellowship, a MCB T32 Academic Excellence Scholarship for 2016-2017, and a 2016 NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Fellowship.

Maxine Umeh Receives 2016 Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship

Maxine Umeh

Maxine Umeh

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Maxine Umeh. Maxine received the 2016 Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship, which is administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The programs seek to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Maxine's research focuses on identifying novel mRNA targets of microRNAs, that are involved in the onset and progression of human breast cancer. Maxine is specifically interested in a subset of breast cancer known as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), which occurs more frequently in African-American and younger women. TNBC is more aggressive than other breast cancer types, has a very high rate of relapse, and no targeted treatments. Her goal is to identify microRNAs that are uniquely involved in TNBC. In addition to doing "traditional" wet-lab work, as part of the Korf lab, Maxine also spends a lot of time learning and using bioinformatics to help answer breast cancer-related questions.

Maxine was previously awarded a 2014-2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in MCB and 2016 GSR Summer Research Award.

Gina Turco Receives 2016-2017 AAUW Dissertation Fellowship

Gina Turco

Gina Turco

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Gina Turco. Gina received the 2016-2017 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowship. AAUW is one of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women and seeks to advance educational and professional opportunities for women in the United States and around the globe.

Gina's research focuses on modeling transcriptional regulation of the plant secondary cell wall. These predictions are used to develop plants with stronger and thicker cell walls resulting in higher biomass plants. She incorporates molecular data to build these mathematical models.

Toni West Receives 2016 American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

Toni West

Toni West

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Toni West. Toni received the 2016 American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship for her research on PDE5/Beta2AR Interaction in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy.

"Diabetics are 5 times more likely to die of heart disease than non-diabetics. But for unclear reasons, diabetics taking Viagra have improved heart function. It is known that Viagra blocks the protein PDE5 from breaking down a molecule called cGMP. One way that cGMP is produced in the heart is by stimulation of the protein called beta2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR). cGMP production causes heart relaxation, priming the heart to pump again, while also preventing unhealthy heart enlargement. My evidence so far shows PDE5 interacts with and attaches to β2AR, which may be causing breakdown of cGMP produced by β2AR. My goal is to determine how the PDE5/β2AR interaction functions so that we can understand how this protein/protein interaction is important in diabetic heart disease."

Linda Su Receives 2016-2017 NIH T32 Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Linda Su. Linda received the NIH T32 Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology for 2016-2017.

Kari Price Receives 2016-2017 Floyd and Mary Schwall Dissertation Year Fellowship in Medical Research

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Kari Price. Kari received the 2016-2017 Floyd and Mary Schwall Dissertation Year Fellowship in Medical Research.

Brian Cook, Ari Vlahakis, and Courtney Bone Receive 2016 Dean's Mentorship Award

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students: Brian Cook, Ari Vlahakis, and Courtney Bone. These students received the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences Dean's Mentorship Award for demonstrating excellence in the mentorship of undergraduate students. The award was made possible by the Dean's Circle Annual Fund.

Adam Contreras Receives 2015-2018 Ruth Kirschstein NRSA F31

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Adam Contreras. Adam received the 2015-2018 Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) F31. The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.

Adam uses fruit flies (D. melanogaster) to model genetic and dietary conditions that underlie metabolic disorders to examine their affects on the biological clock. Adam is investigating how metabolism affects protein post translation modifications (PTM) within clock neurons. Broadly speaking, metabolic induction of PTM is poorly understood but important for two reasons: (1) PTM respond to metabolic fluctuations and provide regulatory signals for cells; and (2) disruption to protein PTM is a common co-occurrence of metabolic diseases.

Marcus Moreno Receives 2015 NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

Congratuations are due to BMCDB student Marcus Moreno. Marcus received the NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Fellowship.

Lindsay Fague Receives the MCB T32 Academic Excellence Scholarship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Lindsay Fague. Lindsay received the 2015 MCB T32 Academic Excellence Scholarship that is funded by the NIH Training Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Katie Beglinger Receives 2015 NIH T32 Training Grant in Chemical Biology

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Katie Beglinger for receiving the 2015 NIH Training Grant in Chemical Biology.The goal of the training grant is to prepare students for careers in the biomedical workforce, where they can effectively communicate and direct research programs that integrate approaches across the two disciplines.

Alex Gulevich Receives 2015-2016 NSF Grow Award

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Alex Gulevich. Alex received the 2015-2016 NSF Grow Award. Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) is a collaboration between NSF and international partners to provide NSF Graduate Research Fellows with expanded opportunities to enhance professional development through research collaborations at top-caliber science and engineering research sites overseas.

BMCDB Students Receive 2015 NIH T32 Training Grant in MCB

Congratulations are due to several BMCDB students: Commodore St Germain, Shea Feeney, Matt McFaul, Prema Karunanithi, Shannon Owens, Alison Deshong, and Mattie O'Sullivan. These students received the 2015 NIH T32 Training Grant in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Tin Ngo Receives 2015 Floyd and Mary Schwall Dissertation Year Fellowship in Medical Research

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Tin Ngo. Tin received the 2015 Floyd and Mary Schwall Disseration Year Fellowship in Medical Research and an ASCB Travel Award.

Annie Chiu Receives 2015 Robert Emrie Smith Memorial Research Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Annie Chiu for receiving the 2015 Robert Emrie Smith Memorial Research Fellowship.

Zong Ye Wu Receives 2015-2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in Comparative Lung Biology and Medicine

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Zong Ye Wu. Zong received the 2015-2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in Comparative Lung Biology and Medicine.

Andrew Burch Receives 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award

Andrew Burch

Andrew Burch

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Andrew Burch. Andrew received the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award. This award, which is co-sponsored by the Graduate Council and the Office of Graduate Studies, recognizes excellence in teaching by graduate students on the UC Davis campus.

Linda Su and Emily Cartwright Receive 2014-2017 Floyd and Mary Schwall Fellowship in Medical Research

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Linda Su and Emily Cartwright. Linda and Emily received the Floyd and Mary Schwall Fellowship in Medical Research for 2014-2017.

Anna Marie Tuazon Receives 2014-2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Anna Marie Tuazon. Anna Marie received the NIH T32 Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology for 2014-2016.

Danilo Eduardo Costa Vieira Lemos and Aline Mello Receive Science Without Borders Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Danilo Eduardo Costa Viera Lemos and Aline Mello. Danilo and Aline received the 2014 Science Without Borders Fellowship.

2014-15 NSF GRFP – George Bell Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

George Bell

George Bell

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student George Bell for successfully competing in this year's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who will contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. The award will provide a generous yearly stipend and will help cover other education costs for a period of three years, as well as provide a one-time international travel allowance. For more information about this program see: http://www.nsfgrfp.org/. George (left) has joined the laboratory of Dr. Sean Collins where he studies the signaling pathways that control neutrophil chemotaxis. Neutrophils are the first responders of the innate immune response, and will rapidly sense and migrate to a pathogen source. Effective chemotaxis requires the cell to steer and accelerate towards a chemoattractant. Currently, George is investigating how Protein Kinase A (PKA) activity contributes to rapid neutrophil acceleration. PKA is a strong candidate for maintaining front and back polarity in neutrophils. His discoveries about PKA could have broader implications for other migrating cells, including metastatic cancer cells. Congratulations are also due to one other first year BMCDB student, Katie Beglinger, who received a honorable mention award for her NSF GRFP application, which represents a significant academic achievement.

Michael Kirmiz and Taryn Gillies Receive 2014-2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in MCB

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Michael Kirmiz and Taryn Gillies. Michael and Taryn received the 2014-2016 NIH T32 Training Grant in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

2014-2017 NSF GRFP – Brigette Jong Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Brigette Jong

Brigette Jong

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Brigette Jong for competing successfully in this year's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who will contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. The award will provide a generous yearly stipend and will help cover other education costs for a period of three years, as well as provide a one-time international travel allowance.

2013-16 NSF GRFP – Mina Azimi and Gina Turco Receive Prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Mina Azimi and Gina Turco for competing successfully in this year's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who will contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. The award will provide a generous yearly stipend and will help cover other education costs for a period of three years, as well as provide a one-time international travel allowance. Mina has joined the laboratory of Dr. Nadean Brown. Her work involves studying the molecular mechanisms and genetic pathways that regulate the development of the vertebrate lens, focusing on the Notch signaling pathway. She is currently studying the regulation behind the changing expression pattern of the Notch ligand Jagged1, which is an essential protein in lens development. Investigating the regulation of the Notch pathway may have broader implications for our understanding of the underlying Notch-related causes of birth defects. Gina has joined the laboratory of Dr. Siobhan Brady. Her research project will investigate cell specific gene expression in plant development. This project allows her to combine her two passions, bioinformatics and developmental biology. While in the lab she also plans to apply systems approaches to developmental networks.

2012-13 CTSA – Amy Fabritius receives Clinical and Translational Award (CTSA)

Congratulations to BMCDB student Amy Fabritius who has been selected for the UC Davis CTSC T32 Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Program. UC Davis is very fortunate to be one of the first twelve Clinical and Translational Award (CTSA) recipients in the nation. The CTSC is an NIH sponsored initiative to transform clinical and translational research across the country. As one of the scholars in this group of medical students and basic science graduate students, Amy will be part of this nationwide initiative. Amy is in Frank McNally's lab working on chromosome segregation during female meiosis in C. elegans.

2012-13 NSF GRFP – Alexander Gulevich Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB student Alex Gulevich for competing successfully in this year's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). The purpose of the program is to ensure the vitality of the scientific and technological workforce in the United States and to reinforce its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees. NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who will contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. The award will provide Alex with a generous yearly stipend and will help cover other education costs for a period of three years, as well as provide a one-time international travel allowance. For more information about this program, including eligibility requirements, follow the link (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/grfp).
Alex has joined the laboratory of J. Clark Lagarias and is pursuing his interest in synthetic biology for biofuel and pharmaceutical applications. Currently, his project focuses on developing novel optogenetic tools that dynamically controls synthetic and natural gene circuits without the need for chemical inducers. The direction of his project centers around one of many approaches in addressing the national and global concerns of sustainable, renewable energies and manufacture of plant-based pharmaceuticals.

2011-12 NSF GRFP – Nadia Ono and Amy Schroeder Receive Prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations are due to BMCDB students Nadia Ono and Amy Schroeder for competing successfully in this year's National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). Congratulations are also due to two other BMCDB students, Bernadette Nera and Khavong Pha, who received honorable mention awards for their NSF GRFP applications, which represents a significant academic achievement.