Seven UChicago Biosciences students receive prestigious NSF GRFP awards

Seven current UChicago Biosciences students were selected to receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awards that reflect the excellence and broad range of research undertaken by our PhD students.

Biophysical Sciences student Hope Anderson is studying T cell intrinsic differences in helper T cell differentiation. Her co-mentors are computational biologist Samantha Riesenfeld and immunologist Bana Jabri.

Ecology and Evolution student Paula Fernandez-Begne examines the functional causes of host plant evolution in the lab of integrative biologist Marcus Kronforst.

DRSB's Honorine Destain researches c. elegans ventral nerve cord motor neuron identity maintenance in with neurobiologist Paschalis Kratsios.

Two Computational Neuroscience students, Gabriella Fox-Wheeler and Mia Paletta, received awards. Gabriella is studying the role of inhibition in motor learning with neuroscientist Jason MacLean and Mia is blending her interests in neuroethology, motor control, and computational approaches to neuroscience to study motor preparation and respiratory-vocal coordination in songbirds with Dan Margoliash. Neuroethology investigates nervous system function by relating it to innate and learned natural behaviors. It is distinguished from much of traditional neurobiology and psychology by being fundamentally centered in evolutionary biology, and by examining behavioral specialization across the breadth of the animal kingdom.

Integrative Biology student Laura Hunter is looking at the way carpal and tarsal structures evolved in the most recent common ancestor of humans and chimps with Zeresenay Alemseged.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics student Julia Shangguan is looking at the structural features of RNA-binding in the lab of biophysicist Tobin Sosnick.

Six incoming UChicago Biosceinces students in Cancer Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Integrative Biology, and Mircobiology also received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

Since 1952, NSF has funded over 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants.  Currently, 42 Fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program has a high rate of doctorate degree completion, with more than 70 percent of students completing their doctorates within 11 years.The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

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